Deuel Ross L’09 successfully argued before the Supreme Court that Alabama’s congressional map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
PHOTO: Deuel Ross L’09, who argued Allen v. Milligan, stands with Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Janai Nelson, and plaintiffs in Allen v. Milligan, including named plaintiff Evan Milligan after oral arguments in the case. Photo by Allison Shelley for the Legal Defense Fund.
In Allen v. Milligan, the Supreme Court has affirmed the district court’s order striking down Alabama’s 2021-enacted congressional map for violating Section 2 the Voting Rights Act. Although Black voters constitute 27% of the state’s population, Alabama had enacted a congressional map that included just one Black majority district out of the state’s seven districts. With this Supreme Court ruling, the state will have to redraw its congressional map with an additional majority-Black district.
Lecturer in Law Deuel Ross L’09, Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), made his Supreme Court debut in October 2022, presenting oral argument on behalf of the Milligan appellees.
“This decision is a crucial win against the continued onslaught of attacks on voting rights,” Ross said in a statement released by LDF. “Alabama attempted to rewrite federal law by saying race could not be considered in the redistricting process even when necessary to remedy racial discrimination. But because of the state’s sordid and well-documented pattern of persisting racial discrimination, race must be considered to ensure communities of color are not boxed out of the electoral process. While the Voting Rights Act and other key protections against discriminatory voting laws have been weakened in recent years and states continue to pass provisions to disenfranchise Black voters, today’s decision is a recognition of Section 2’s purpose to prevent voting discrimination and the very basic right to a fair shot.”
Following graduation from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Ross held a yearlong fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program and clerked for Judge Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Before joining LDF, he spent two years at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as a Civil Rights Fellow, where he worked on complex commercial and civil rights litigation.