Archive for October 16th, 2013

October 16, 2013

Nelson Joins Amicus Brief on NC Redistricting Appeal

Professor Janai Nelson joined a group of fellow election law experts in an amicus brief in North Carolina’s latest racial gerrymandering challenge.  The case, Dickson v. Rucho, is pending before the state’s Supreme Court.  The brief calls for the court to correctly interpret Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which protects racial minorities from discrimination in voting.  The brief asserts that  the North Carolina General Assembly’s redistricting plan explicitly segregated North Carolina’s citizens into districts based on race, resulting in the packing of African Americans into fewer districts and diluting their voting strength in violation of the Act.  In particular, the amici argue:

“The General Assembly’s claim that its racial balkanization was required by the Voting Rights Act (“VRA”) turns the VRA on its head.  A statute meant to combat the ‘insidious and pervasive evil which had been perpetuated in certain parts of our country through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution,’ . . . was instead used to perpetuate the very evil of racial discrimination it was designed to thwart.” [Citation omitted.]

Professor Nelson, who teaches and writes on race and election law, joined another amicus brief with experts in her field earlier this year in a case before the United States Supreme Court, Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act.

janai blue

October 16, 2013

Calabrese and Sovern Weigh in on Debt Collection Rules

Gina Calabrese, Associate Director of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic and Professor of Clinical Legal Education, recently supervised the clinic’s comments submission to the New York State Department of Financial Services on  the Department’s proposed rules on debt collection (link at ) that would require debt collectors to provide certain disclosures to consumers.  The Clinic project was an opportunity for law students to engage in policy work.   Among the Clinic’s recommendations was a proposal to include an advisory notice of the importance of the disclosure in the six non-English languages most commonly spoken in New York State.  (See comments here: Comments of St Vincent de Paul Legal Prog on DFS Debt Coll Rules 101113).  Multilingual Legal Advocates, a multi-lingual law students association, assisted with translating the advisory into the six different languages.  Professor Jeff Sovern also commented on the proposed rules and suggested that critical disclosures be presented more simply and prominently.

gina c                 jeff sovern

%d bloggers like this: