Austin Hosts Latest Voting Rights Institute to Train New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers

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On March 7, 2015, the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center and American Constitution Society (ACS), will conduct the next voting rights training session in Austin, Texas to help fill the critical need for a new generation of voting rights lawyers, experts, and community activists. At the session, being held at the University of Texas Law School, practitioners and law students will learn the ‘ins and outs’ of protecting the right to vote through the enforcement of voting rights law.  Cases brought to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, will be a particular focus of the training.  The training program will feature a panel of instructors with decades of experience in the field of voting rights.

“To understand the urgent need for a new generation of voting rights litigators and experts one need look no further than the voter suppression laws enacted in the run-up to the 2014 elections and currently being challenged in the courts,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of the Campaign Legal Center.  “The Supreme Court’s disastrous Shelby County decision in 2013 turned the clock back on voting rights protections, unleashing new laws at the state and municipal level designed to restrict and burden voting rights.  Now more than ever we need a new generation of voting rights litigators and advocates to help win back and protect the right of all Americans to vote regardless of the color of their skin.”

Experts in the field will provide background on the Voting Rights Act and relevant federal court cases to participants and will then focus on their experiences in voting rights cases.  The Voting Rights Act will be covered in detail and participants will learn how it impacts voting rights laws on a state-by-state basis. Campaign Legal Center Executive Director, J. Gerald Hebert, will serves as lead instructor and will be joined by several veteran voting rights litigators and advocates.

In addition to Mr. Hebert, the Institute’s faculty will include: Chad Dunn (Partner, Brazil & Dunn); veteran voting rights attorney David Richards; the Texas Mexican American Caucus’ general counsel Martin Golando; Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe; and former Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate, attorney Wendy Davis. 

Financial support for the Voting Rights Institute has been received from the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (rbf.org), Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.  

For more details on the timing and location of the Austin training, click here.