Aug 01, 2021  
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog

LAW 421 - Voting Rights Litigation and Practice


Credits: 1

This course will be taught as a practicum on the fundamentals of election law litigation, with a focus on issues in voting rights. By the end of this course, students will understand key issues in voting rights, and how to bring forth an action in court on behalf of a voter client. The areas covered will include a study of a variety of issues that may impact individuals’ voting rights, including voter identification, early/absentee voting, and ballot counting; required course readings will maintain a focus on cases brought forth by voter plaintiffs and will include complaints filed in selected cases. The course will include a review of Virginia and federal laws with respect to jurisdiction, venue, standing, and timing as applied to causes of action under the election laws. The course will apply the Virginia Election Laws set forth in the Constitution of Virginia and Title 24.2 of the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended, as well as the United States Constitution and the federal Civil and Voting Rights Acts. The course will require students to prepare complaints as though they were preparing to litigate a voting rights case in court while representing voters under the laws of Virginia. Students will have two (2) written assignments as a part of this course. First, students will have an individual assignment to draft a complaint based upon a prompt provided in the first class; this complaint will be due the Wednesday before the second class. In the third session, students will have the opportunity to conference with professors about their individually- drafted complaints. For their second written assignment, students will be provided a hypothetical fact pattern during the third class and will be required to draft complaints in small groups on behalf of voter clients. This is a one credit course, graded on a pass/fail basis. Students will be assessed on their (1) class attendance and participation; (2) individual preparation of a complaint due the Wednesday before the second class session; and (3) small group preparation of a complaint drafted during the third class session. The complaints should demonstrate the student’s ability to apply voting rights precedent while using state law to advocate for a client. NOTE; Sept 19 class meets in Washington D.C.; location to be determined and communicated to students by instructor.