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GW Law to Host Voting Rights Panel Discussing Key Questions From Oral Argument In The Shelby County Case, March 12

Liz Field;



On Feb. 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case considering the constitutionality of the most effective tool in combating voting discrimination in the history of our nation--Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  A few questions asked by the justices may determine the court's decision, which is expected by June.  On Tuesday, top voting rights experts from both sides will provide answers to these key questions:  Does the coverage formula violate an equal footing doctrine?  Can Congress constitutionally determine which states it believes should comply with preclearance, and then “reverse engineer” a coverage formula to cover those states?  Can lawsuits effectively replace Section 5 preclearance?  Is Shelby County actually injured if it would be covered by alternative coverage formulas?

GW Political Law Studies Initiative Director and Professor Spencer Overton will moderate a panel presentation featuring Michael Carvin, Jones Day, GW Law 1982; Gerry Hebert, Campaign Legal Center; Dara Lindenbaum, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, GW Law 2011 and Abigail Thernstrom, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.


Tuesday, March 12; Panel: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


Student Conference Center (SCC – Lisner 201)
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, Kelly Lounge, and Lerner 201 (Lerner Hall)
2000 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
GWU Metro (Orange and Blue lines)


Media interested in attending should contact Liz Field at 202-994-5609 or or Angela Olson at 202-994-3087 or


GW Law, long recognized as one of the top law schools in the country, pursues a distinctive research and learning mission that engages the leading law and policy questions of our time and provides students with an education that will position them to help change the world. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, the Law School was founded in 1865 and was the first law school in the District of Columbia.