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Email: hebert@voterlaw.com

Cases

If you would like more information on any of these cases, or copies of documents filed in them, please contact me.

City of Richmond, Virginia

City of Pasadena, Texas

Warren County, Virginia v. John D. Ashcroft and Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.

Branch v. Smith, No. 01-1437 (United States Supreme Court)

New York City Charter Review Commission

South Carolina Local Governments

 

City of Richmond, Virginia

I serve as an expert consultant to the City of Richmond's Commission on Richmond Government. The Commission is studying a wide range of issues involving the structure of local government, including the popular election of mayor, lengths of terms of office for city council members, the method of election for city council members, the size of the city's governing body, and forms of local government. I will be advising the City Attorney's office, as well as Commission members, on these topics and the legal issues involved.    

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City of Pasadena, Texas

I serve as legal counsel to the City and have made a submission to the United States Department of Justice for the approval of holding a referendum in May 2003. The City obtained approval from the Justice Department of the creation of a Crime Control and Prevention District, and voters approved the creation of the district in 1998. The District was created for a five-year term pursuant to Texas law. The City now desires to put before the voters a referendum on whether to continue the operation of this special district. I prepared the City's submission to the Department of Justice and provided legal analysis on the Voting Rights Act implications of the proposal.    

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Warren County, Virginia v. John D. Ashcroft and Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.

This is an action brought by Warren County, Virginia, to seek an exemption (known as a ”bailout”) from the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Warren County demonstrated that it had complied with the Voting Rights Act over a ten-year period and had engaged in other activities that rendered the County eligible for the bailout. The Department of Justice agreed to the bailout and a three-judge court approved it. Warren County becomes the fifth county government to obtain a bailout. Three cities also have obtained bailouts.    

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Branch v. Smith, No. 01-1437 (United States Supreme Court)

This is a direct appeal from a decision of a three-judge court in Mississippi enjoining implementation of a congressional redistricting plan adopted by the state courts of Mississippi in the wake of the legislature’s failure to enact a plan. I prepared an amicus curiae brief in the case on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the San Francisco Bay Area. This case is scheduled for oral argument before the United States Supreme Court on December 10, 2002.  

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New York City Charter Review Commission

I serve as an expert consultant to the New York City Charter Review Commission (the “Commission”), a thirteen member body appointed in 2002 to review the current charter for New York City and to consider revisions to that charter as appropriate. I testified before the Commission on two occasions in connection with the Voting Rights Act implications of various proposals regarding the effect of converting to non-partisan elections for certain city offices, as well as proposed changes in the manner of filling vacancies for city offices. After the hearings were complete and the Commission voted to submit one proposal to the voters for consideration, I assisted the Commission in its request for expedited preclearance of the holding of a referendum on proposed revisions to the city charter. Expedited preclearance of the referendum was obtained and the voters of the New York City approved the proposed revisions to the city charter in the November 5, 2002, general election.

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South Carolina Local Governments

I have been retained to assist about a half dozen local governments in South Carolina in connection with a variety of preclearance submissions made to the United States Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act. I advise these local governments not only about the factual record they need to develop and present to the Department of Justice, but also the applicable legal requirements that must be met in order for preclearance to be obtained. In several of these instances, I assisted the local government in gaining expedited preclearance of the submission under the Voting Rights Act.

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