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Millhiser writes: "[Pam Karlan] will oversee the Justice Department’s most important challenges to voter suppression laws."

Karlan will oversee the Justice Department's efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas' election law and its challenge to the nation's worst voter suppression law in North Carolina. (photo: unknown)
Karlan will oversee the Justice Department's efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas' election law and its challenge to the nation's worst voter suppression law in North Carolina. (photo: unknown)

Justice Department Calls in the Big Guns to Stop Voter Suppression

By Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress

23 December 13


t's difficult to exaggerate the prominence Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan enjoys within the progressive legal community. Karlan is one of the most active members of the Supreme Court bar - among other things, she co-authored the brief that convinced the justices to strike down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act last June. She is a former litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and she is among the most widely regarded voting rights experts in the nation. If President Obama had shown more courage in the early years of his presidency, or if Senate Democrats had deployed the nuclear option sooner, she would be a federal appellate judge today. Many Court watchers, including myself, would choose her if we could place only one person on the Supreme Court.

So when the Justice Department revealed on Friday that Karlan would become the nation's top voting rights attorney, it was as if Marsellus Wallace called up the many voters being disenfranchised in states like Texas and North Carolina, and told them that he's sending The Wolf.

Karlan will take over as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division's voting rights section. In this role, she will oversee the Justice Department's most important challenges to voter suppression laws - including its efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas' election law and its challenge to the nation's worst voter suppression law in North Carolina.

As a senior member of the Civil Rights Division, Karlan will work under soon-to-be Assistant Attorney General Debo Adegbile, who President Obama recently nominated as the nation's top civil rights attorney. Like Karlan, Adegbile is himself a leading expert on voting rights law - indeed, he twice appeared before the Supreme Court to try to save the Voting Rights Act from the Court's conservative majority. your social media marketing partner


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+42 # mrbtfsplk 2013-12-24 00:58
Thank goodness... Maybe there's hope. Another couple dozen women like this, (and a few Bernie clones wouldn't hurt) and some semblance of Democracy might reign in Amerika again.
+23 # CLwrites 2013-12-24 08:21
Living in Dallas as I do, it's wonderful to read that Texas is finally going to get some federal help with combatting our state's attempts to swing so far to the right. Now is the time, as things are getting pretty scary here, from voter suppression to not expanding Medicaid in support of the ACA, to suppression of women's rights, and all the other backwards leaning decisions the Republican controlled Texas legislature keeps pushing through.
+7 # geraldom 2013-12-24 14:24
I really don't mean to be negative nor do I mean to be cynical. I'm a realist and I know that one of the biggest items on G.W. Bush's to-do list when he stole the presidency in 2000 with the help of SCOTUS by disenfranchisin g hundreds of thousands of legal voters in Fla and in other states was to pack the federal court system with as many corrupt Repub judges who would support the Repub agenda, no matter what it was, and to protect and strengthen the Republican Party over that of the Democratic Party. Thanks to the weak and ignorant and naive Democratic Party during Bush's 8 illegitimate years as U.S. president, Bush achieved this goal well beyond his wildest dreams by placing well over 300 of these corrupt extremist political judges onto the federal bench with two extremists onto the U.S. Supreme Court itself, Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

SCOTUS will always be the final word in any argument as long as Congress allows it to be. Having stated all of this and being a realist, unless the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court is changed and some of the more radical Supreme Court justices are replaced with justices that are truly supportive of the Constitution, it will not matter who the DOJ selects to fight these cases. Any favorable decisions by the lower courts against these illegal voter suppression techniques by Texas and other Repub-controlle d states, since the repeal of the VRA by SCOTUS, will ultimately end up in SCOTUS with the obvious negative results.

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