10 Years Since Shelby County: How Democracy Advocates Can Fight Back

On June 28th at 3:00 PM Eastern, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is hosting a virtual event to discuss how pro-democracy advocates can make democracy more inclusive and accountable through creative measures like state Voting Rights Acts, independent redistricting commissions and other commonsense measures that would protect and expand the freedom to vote.

The Supreme Court has made a series of anti-democratic decisions in the last decade, including Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by gutting the incredibly important “preclearance” process.

Preclearance dramatically transformed the freedom to vote for Black voters in the South by requiring states and localities with a history of racial discrimination to get voting law changes cleared by the Department of Justice or a three-judge federal court panel before going into effect.

Shelby County v. Holder was decided 10 years ago, but it continues to restrict Black voters’ freedom to vote to this day.

While the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Allen v. Milligan, which upheld the validity of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act—a vital tool designed to make democracy more equitable and accessible for voters of color—is heartening, there is a long way to go to achieve the promise of a fully equal, inclusive and accessible democracy.

During the event, CLC’s panel of experts will discuss how Shelby County v. Holder and Allen v. Milligan have impacted access to democracy and examine the fringe independent state legislature theory that the Supreme Court is weighing in Moore v. Harper.

Click HERE to Register for this on-line event at 3pm on June 28th, 2023

Meet The Speakers

Moderator: Gilda R. Daniels, Voting Rights Consultant at Campaign Legal Center

Gilda Daniels is a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and has more than a decade of voting rights experience. She served as deputy chief in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section under both the Clinton and Bush Administrations and is the author of Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America.


Paul M. Smith, Senior Vice President at Campaign Legal Center

Paul Smith has four decades of experience litigating a wide range of cases and has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 21 times, securing many victories including in Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case. Paul also argued several redistricting and voting rights cases at the Supreme Court, including Gill v. Whitford.

Mark Gaber, Senior Director of Redistricting at Campaign Legal Center

Mark Gaber manages CLC’s redistricting litigation and policy program, which seeks to achieve fair maps for racial and language minority groups, and to curb the influence of partisanship in redistricting. Mark has served as counsel in major redistricting cases over the past 10 years, including Abbott v. Perez, Cooper v. Harris, Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Texas v. United States.

Kevin P. Hancock, Director of Strategic Litigation at Campaign Legal Center

Kevin Hancock litigates to protect voting rights, ensure fair redistricting and to reform the campaign finance system. Kevin served for nearly a decade in several capacities as an attorney at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and, before joining CLC, Kevin represented the executive branch as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.


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