A. Wright v. Sumter County Board of Elections and Registration
IPR represented the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Campaign Legal Center in an amicus curiae brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, arguing that the district court failed to utilize the proper tests for analyzing the plaintiff’s claims under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the county and remanded the case to the district court.
B. Figgs v. Quitman County
IPR represented civil rights attorney Ellis Turnage against a claim by Quitman County for attorneys’ fees following the voluntary dismissal of a Voting Rights Act case against the county in which Mr. Turnage served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs. In the underlying case, the plaintiffs challenged the county’s drawing of its supervisor districts as improperly diluting the voting strength of African Americans. In February 2016, the county filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs, asserting that plaintiffs were liable for attorneys’ fees because their claims were frivolous, and that Mr. Turnage was liable for attorneys’ fees because he had engaged in unreasonable and vexatious litigation.
In June 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi ruled for our client and denied the request for attorneys’ fees but granted the smaller request for costs.
C. Davidson v. City of Cranston
IPR represented former directors of the U.S. Census Bureau for an amicus curiae brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, arguing that the Census Bureau’s decision to count incarcerated persons at the place of incarceration does not answer the question of where those persons should be counted for representational purposes under the one person, one vote analysis. The First Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs and held incarcerated persons may be counted at the place of incarceration for representational purposes.
D. Georgia State Conference of the NAACP v. Kemp
IPR, the Campaign Legal Center, and other co-counsel represented non-profit advocacy groups in a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s use of an exact-match system for registering new voters as violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The parties ultimately settled the case after Georgia agreed to no longer automatically cancel voter registration applicants who failed the exact match process, agreed to allow applicants failing the exact match process to be placed on the voter rolls as “pending” with no deadline to correct the mismatch, and other safeguards to prevent the disenfranchisement of eligible voters.
E. Thompson v. State of Alabama
IPR, the Campaign Legal Center, and other co-counsel represent several individual plaintiffs, and a putative class, in challenging Alabama’s system of felon disenfranchisement under multiple theories, including as intentionally racially discriminatory under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The case remains pending before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
F. One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen
IPR represents Common Cause in an amicus curiae brief before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the district court rendered the Twenty-Sixth Amendment obsolete by failing to consider the clear targeting of the youth vote by fourteen changes in Wisconsin election law enacted during a narrow window in the state’s legislative and political history. The case remains pending.
G. Multiple Section 2 Investigations
IPR, working in partnership with the Campaign Legal Center, has investigated several towns and cities in evaluating potential targets for litigation for compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In particular, clinic students have investigated and analyzed five jurisdictions for potential Section 2 litigation, including through the use of state open public records requests, with one likely target emerging from the investigation, and are currently researching an additional jurisdiction’s compliance with Section 2.