National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative

Joaquin AvilaJoaquin Avila
Director and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence

Seattle University School of Law has launched a major national initiative to address issues of minority vote dilution. This initiative will serve as a national resource center for voting rights practitioners and advocates who are involved in litigation, legislative, and advocacy efforts to eliminate methods of election that have a discriminatory effect on minority voting strength. One of the resources it will develop is a website providing access to administrative determinations by the United States Attorney General pursuant to Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act; to legislative hearings surrounding the passage, amendments, and reauthorization of the federal Voting Rights Act; to litigation manuals and pleadings focusing on legal challenges to redistricting plans and at-large methods of election; and to selected analysis of both federal and state voting rights cases. The School will also initiate a process for the documentation of voting rights abuses and problems that can be utilized in congressional oversight hearings.

In addition, through this initiative, the School will provide an opportunity for law students to work with people in the field on a variety of projects and tasks. For example, students will be able to work on proposed legislation affecting the right to vote at the federal and state levels.

This undertaking by Seattle University School of Law is unique. Seattle University School of Law is the only law school in the country that has established this innovative project in anticipation of the upcoming 2011 redistricting of election districts for members of Congress, city councils, school boards, and the governing boards of other political entities. The data, expert reports, and memoranda that will be generated and collected by the Law School will provide scholars with research that will be useful in the preparation of law review articles and other scholarly publications.

News release about the Initiative

Voting Rights and Minority Groups CLE
November 18, 2010; 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. panel discussion in C5
Reception to follow in 2nd floor gallery

Seattle University Fountain