Courses@BoaltNOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.
227.4 sec. 1 - Voting Rights (Spring 2011)
Instructor: Robert Rubin (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course
Meeting Time: Th 3:35-5:25
Meeting Location: 111
Course Start: January 13, 2011
Course Control Number (1Ls): 51215
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49579
Voting rights issues are among the most volatile of any questions currently before the courts. Questions of race and whether and how it can be used as a remedy are just one issue area. The role of elected officials vs. "citizen commissions" in drawing legislative lines is another. Should ex-felons be allowed to vote? Is one majority-minority district more empowering than two influence districts? How serious are reports of voter fraud and do they justify imposing restrictions on voters��� rights?
This seminar examines the significant federal statutory developments beginning with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, continuing through the "motor voter" law designed to increase and diversify the pool of voters and touching on more recent efforts to reauthorize or ���sunset��� certain provisions of the 1965 law. Particular emphasis will be placed upon sections 2 (minority vote dilution) and 5 ("preclearance" of voting changes) of the federal Voting Rights Act.
The course will also examine state law and specifically, the California Voting Rights Act that was intended to ease some of the more restrictive elements of sec. 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. Students will have the opportunity to discuss cases brought under the state law, including pending litigation.
The last few weeks of class will be devoted to oral presentations of students��� papers. Finally, students will have the opportunity to participate in mock arguments involving major voting rights cases.
Robert Rubin, a civil rights attorney for the past 30 years, is Litigation Director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco. Earlier, Rubin was ACLU staff counsel in Mississippi. Rubin has specialized in the areas of immigrant rights and voting rights. He was co-lead counsel in the 1994 successful challenge to Prop. 187, the state initiative that would have expelled all undocumented schoolchildren. Rubin secured the first injunction in the nation ordering a state to comply with the ���motor voter��� law. He was counsel to Latino voters in Monterey County opposed to at-large elections and secured two winning decisions in the U.S. Supreme Court on their behalf. During the 2004 Presidential election, he successfully challenged Ohio���s refusal to provide provisional ballots to persons who had requested, but did not receive, absentee ballots. Finally, Rubin successfully resolved the first four cases filed under the California Voting Rights Act. These actions resulted in the conversion of electoral systems of city councils and school boards from at-large to single-member districts.
This course may satisfy the Writing Requirement.
If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.
A reader will be used in this class.
Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.