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Alabama school boards do not have 11th Amendment immunity against employee suits
For the last two years, Kathryn Piscitelli (of Orlando, FL) and I have been resisting the Madison City School Board's defense that it is an "arm of the state" and therefore immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment to the US Constitution. A magistrate judge, a district judge, and now a panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with us that the Board is not immune. (We were assisted in the Circuit Court by Phil Hostak of Washington DC. Phil did a great job of arguing the case.)
The opinion of the court is available on the court's website.
The underlying lawsuit is a claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA). Our client, Mike Weaver has been called to the service of his county several times during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. His complaint alleges that, beginning in 2007, his job duties had been reduced when he returned, that his status in the workplace has been decreased, and he has not received a raise since then (but all other central-office employees of the board have had pay raises). Now that we have won on this defense, we are looking forward to litigating the merits of the case.
ADC files motion for preliminary injunction
ADC is suing the Alabama Attorney General to be overturn the ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers if the transfer is going to be used for independent expenditures. This is the ADC's updated motion for preliminary injunction.
"Supreme Court's Arizona immigration law ruling could impact Alabama"
The Birmingham Business Journal reported: A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's law targeting illegal immigration could have serious implications for Alabama's version of the law that both supporters and opponents say is even tougher than the Arizona's 2010 law.
In a split decision announced Monday, the court struck down most of Arizona's strict law, but upheld a key provision allowing police to question and briefly detain immigrants they believe to be in the country illegally. ...
The 11th Circuit Court, which is hearing challenges to the Alabama law, had delayed its final ruling until after the high court’s decision on the Arizona law.
According to Birmingham civil rights attorney Edward Still, the court could ask for additional briefings from each side to determine whether Alabama’s law is the same or different from Arizona’s.
“Or they could say, ‘Well, the Alabama statute, in this particular case, is verbatim the same as the provisions that were struck down in Arizona; and therefore, we’ll just apply that,’” he said. -- Read the whole article on the Business Journal site.
Co-author, The USERRA Manual (Thompson West, annual editions since 2008) (with Kathryn Piscitelli)
Co-author, "Job Rights of Employees who Serve in the Military: USERRA Rights and Obligations," ATLA Docket (Ark. Trial Lawyers Ass'n), Spring 2008 (with Mary Dryovage and Kathryn S. Piscitelli) [This article has been published in two AAJ newsletters -- Employment Rights Section and Federal Tort and Military Advocacy Section]
Author, “Voting Rights Act of 1965,” “Right to Vote,” “Reynolds v. Sims,” in Encyclopedia of American Law (D. Schultz, ed.) (2002)
Author, “A Simple Agenda for Election Reform,” 50 The National Voter (2001)
Co-author, “Is There a Constitutional Right to Vote and Be Represented? The Case of the District of Columbia,” 48 Am. U. L. Rev. (1999) (edited transcript of conference session)
Co-author, “Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Remedies,” 18 FEC Journal of Election Administration (1997)
Co-author, “One Person, Seven Votes: The Cumulative Voting Experience in Chilton County, Alabama,” in Affirmative Action and Representation: Shaw v. Reno and the Future of Voting Rights (1997)
Co-author, “Alternative Voting: How it Works,” Voting Rights Review (Spring 1995) [HTML]
Co-author, “Cumulative Voting as a Remedy in Voting Rights Cases,” 84 National Civic Review (1995)
Author, “Alabama,” in The Quiet Revolution: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act in the South, 1965-1990 (1994)
Author, “Symposium: The Supreme Court, Racial Politics, and the Right to Vote: Shaw v. Reno and the Future of the Voting Rights Act,” 44 Am. U. L. Rev. (1994) (edited transcript of conference)
Author, “Cumulative and Limited Voting in Alabama,” in United States Electoral Systems: Their Impact on Minorities and Women (1992)
Author, “The Hunting of the Gerrymander”, 38 UCLA L. Rev. (1991) (review of Political Gerrymandering and the Courts)
Author, “Voluntary Constituencies: Modified At-Large Voting As A Remedy For Minority Vote Dilution In Judicial Elections,” 9 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. (1991)
Author, “Alternatives to Single-Member Districts,” in Davidson and Grofman, eds., Minority Vote Dilution (1984)
Author, "Election Reform Bill Will Add Uniformity to U.S. Voting System," op-ed piece in Birmingham News, 20 October 2002
Author, "State must consider what-ifs in revising election laws," op-ed piece in Birmingham News, 17 November 2002
Update on Lynch v. State of Alabama
We are now two weeks into the trial of Lynch v. State of Alabama. The Huntsville Times has been covering the case every day. See their stories here. As we move to Birmingham for the third week of testimony, I wonder if the Birmingham News will pick up the burden of coverage.
Disclosure: The plaintiffs are represented by James Blacksher, Larry Menefee, and me.
Judge enjoins law meant to stop AEA from getting payroll deductions
The Huntsville Times reports: A federal judge issued a temporary injunction this afternoon halting a new state law that could potentially cripple a statewide teachers' organization.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith issued the injunction against a law passed by the Alabama Legislature in December that bans school employees from having their Alabama Education Association membership dues directly deducted from their paychecks. The law was to go into effect on Sunday.
Dr. Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of AEA, said the organization had been hoping for a ruling on the injunction before the law goes into effect.
"Once the law goes into effect, we will lose January dues, which are collected in February," Hubbert said shortly before the ruling was filed. "We may also lose February dues, collected in March. A couple of months' worth of loss makes it hard to operate." Hubbert could not be reached immediately after the filing. -- Read the whole story --> Federal judge halts ban on payroll deduction to Alabama Education Association | al.com
Disclosure: I am one of the attorneys representing the AEA. A copy of the opinion is shown below:
School-funding tax case coming to trial
The Huntsville Times reports: Alabama history is headed before a federal judge in Huntsville, as civil rights attorneys argue that the state's method of funding schools purposefully discriminates based on race.
At stake are the state's property tax rates, the lowest in the nation. Attorney James Blacksher of Birmingham contends that tax structure violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, largely by limiting the ability of rural counties to tax wealthy white landowners.
"Because of the anemic property taxes available to most local school systems, low-income students throughout Alabama, who are disproportionately black, suffer from underfunding," contends the suit.
But the state argues that any forced change in tax rates would decrease all property values, injure all property owners who plan to sell, paralyze the commercial real estate market and cause "widespread havoc in Alabama's government and real estate markets." Read the whole story --> Alabama's method of funding schools challenged in court for racial discrimination | al.com (PDF copy)
"The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act"
Jason Miller has written an article on one of the worst "gotchas" in election law -- the Hatch Act's application to state and local government employees. Here is the abstract of his article:
Every year, state and local government employees announce their intent to run for public office only to be told that an obscure Great Depression-era law requires that they choose between their job and their campaign. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from running for partisan office and similarly prohibits any state and local employee from running if their position receives any federal funds. This prohibition applies even when there is no apparent conflict of interest or abuse of power. Given the number of federal employees, and the number of federal grants to state and local governments, millions of covered employees are effectively prohibited from running for public office. At the same time, many elections in this country go uncontested and communities suffer from a lack of quality candidates.
The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act focuses on the federal law’s coverage of state and local employees and examines whether the Act would pass constitutional muster under modern tests, whether the Hatch Act is desirable as a matter of policy, and what alternatives could achieve the policy goals of the Act without an absolute prohibition on candidacy for partisan office.
Download the entire article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1444192.
Knight v. State of Alabama (in U.S. Supreme Court)
James Blacksher, Susan Watterson, and I have just filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in Knight v. State of Alabama.
Knight is the higher-education desegregation case that Jim has worked on for nearly twenty years. Several years ago, he amended the complaint to raise issues regarding the education funding system in Alabama. Here is the way we describe the case in the petition:
After 1995 Alabama, like the rest of the nation, experienced sharp increases in the cost of attending public universities, and in 2003 the class plaintiffs sought additional relief, contending that racially motivated restrictions in the state constitution were contributing to rising tuition and declining financial aid that adversely affected access to higher education for black Alabamians. App. 29-33. The state constitutional provisions in question are sections of the original Alabama Constitution of 1901, which cap property tax millage rates, and two “Lid Bill” constitutional amendments procured by Governor George C. Wallace in the 1970s that drastically reduce the percentage of fair market value to which the millage rates can be applied, restrict the valuation of farm and timber land to their current use, and place a “lid” on total ad valorem taxes. ...
The District Court then found that these state constitutional provisions [were passed with a racially discriminatory intent and] still have their intended racially discriminatory effects, keeping Alabama’s property taxes far below those of all other states, starving predominately black school systems of local revenues, and depleting higher education’s portion of the state sales and income taxes that must be shared with K-12 schools.
However, the District Court refused to grant the plaintiffs the relief they sought because, the court said,
the State had satisfied its burden under the second part of the Fordice standard of showing that the challenged tax provisions have no segregative effect on students’ choice to attend higher education.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed. And now we (I joined to help on the certiorari petition) have filed the petition for a writ of certiorari raising these questions:
1. Where both lower courts found provisions in Alabama’s constitution to be racially discriminatory in both their original purpose and in their current effects, did the courts err by denying all relief and upholding these racially discriminatory provisions?
2. Is the decision below contrary to the holding of this Court in United States v. Fordice, 505 U.S. 717 (1992), that a state must eradicate vestiges of de jure racial segregation from its system of higher education?
3. Is the decision below contrary to the holding of this Court in Hunter v. Underwood, 471 U.S. 222 (1985), that provisions in a state’s constitution that continue to have their intended racially discriminatory effects must be struck down as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment?
A teacher faces dismissal for doing her job
This is the kind of story that makes my blood boil:
“Keep the ‘Art’ in ‘Smart’ and ‘Heart,’ ” Sydney McGee had posted on her Web site at Wilma Fisher Elementary School in this moneyed boomtown that is gobbling up the farm fields north of Dallas.
But Ms. McGee, 51, a popular art teacher with 28 years in the classroom, is out of a job after leading her fifth-grade classes last April through the Dallas Museum of Art. One of her students saw nude art in the museum, and after the child’s parent complained, the teacher was suspended.
Although the tour had been approved by the principal, and the 89 students were accompanied by 4 other teachers, at least 12 parents and a museum docent, Ms. McGee said, she was called to the principal the next day and “bashed.”
She later received a memorandum in which the principal, Nancy Lawson, wrote: “During a study trip that you planned for fifth graders, students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations.” It cited additional complaints, which Ms. McGee has challenged.
The school board suspended her with pay on Sept. 22.
I have represented teachers in this sort of situation -- good, even great, teachers who are doing their jobs and one complaint brings on a crisis.
My best wishes to Ms. McGee. (You can read the whole story.)
Speaking Engagements -- past
Mr. Still has been a guest lecturer on the history of voting rights litigation and on election methods at the Georgetown University Law Center, University of Virginia School of Law, Washington and Lee University (undergraduate and School of Law), Cumberland Law School, Birmingham-Southern College, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Pomona College, and University of Massachusetts at Boston.
He has also been a panelist or speaker at meetings of the State Conference of NAACP Branches in Alabama (1998), South Carolina (1999), North Carolina (1999), Florida (1999, 2000), Mississippi (1998), and Tennessee (1998); the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (1997); the Southeast Regional NAACP Annual Convention (1998); the Voting Rights Conference of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (1999); American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (1999); the National Conference of State Legislators (1999); the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (2000); the National Election Standards Task Force of the National Association of Secretaries of State (2000); the Congressional Black Associates (2001); the National Association of Counties (2001); the National Association of County Civil Attorneys (2001 and 2002); and the International Municipal Lawyers Association (2001 and 2002); Women in Politics Leadership Institute, University of Alabama (2003); Center for Voting and Democracy, “Training the Trainers” workshop (Atlanta, Georgia) (2003); Alabama Democratic Confernece (2005).
He has been a panelist at several annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, the XIIIth World Congress of the International Political Science Association, an annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, and a conference at the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (at SUNY Buffalo).
Mr. Still has given numerous continuing legal education programs on Supreme Court cases, expert witnesses, federal jurisdiction, and the rights of public employees. He spoke at the Election Law & Litigation program of Fulcrum Information Services, Inc. (2001); the NELA-Georgia CLE conference on “Using the ’Class of One’ Equal Protection Theory in Public Employment Cases” (2005); the National Employment Lawyers Association annual meeting on “USERRA Basic Training for Employment Lawyers,” co-written with Mary Dryovage and Kathleen Piscitelli and presented at the 2005 annual meeting.
Happy birthday, U.S. Constitution
Today, 17 September, is the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention. Their appointed task was to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation -- which could only be amended by unanimous vote of the 13 states. Instead, the delegates proposed a completely new Constitution (although it did pick up a few points from the Articles) to come into effect when ratified by popular conventions in nine of the states.
The Constitution proudly proclaims that it was adopted by the "Unanimous Consent of the States present," but one state was missing. Do you know which one? It was Rhode Island, which never sent delegates to the Convention and was the last of the 13 to ratify the Constitution.
For more information on the Constitution, visit the website of the National Constitution Center.
My Cases: Freedom of Speech or Religion
Baker v. Glover, 776 F.Supp. 1511, 19 Media L. Rep. 1984 (M.D. Ala. 1991) -- successful challenge under First Amendment to Alabama “dirty words” bumper sticker law
Alves v. Peck, 835 F.2d 1439 (11th Cir. 1987); 868 F.2d 1275 (11th Cir. 1989) -- challenge to refusal of University to rent theater because of content of play
Alabama Student Party v. Student Government Association of the University of Alabama, 867 F.2d 1344, 51 Ed. Law Rep. 1169 (11th Cir. 1989) -- challenge to campaign regulations
Association for Children for Enforcement of Support v. Conger, 899 F.2d 1164 (11th Cir. 1990) -- challenge to exclusion of public from trials
Simmons v. Conger, 86 F.3d 1080 (11th Cir. 1996) --challenge to exclusion of public from trials
Roger Cleveland et al v. Gary C. Leach (Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources) et al, CV 92-H-1057-N (M.D. Ala.) -- challenge to state parks' promotion of Christian religion (settled with consent decree)
Muir v. Alabama Educational Television Commission, 656 F.2d 1012, 50 Rad. Reg. 2d (P & F) 275, 7 Media L. Rep. 1933 (5th Cir 1981); 662 F.2d 1110 (5th Cir 1981); 688 F.2d 1033, 66 ALR Fed 585, 52 Rad. Reg. 2d (P & F) 935, 8 Media L. Rep. 2305 (5th Cir. 1982) (en banc); cert. denied 460 US 1023 (1983) -- suit seeking to compel showing of public television program on grounds that Commission had improperly removed it from schedule because of its content
Norris v. Turner, 637 F.Supp. 1116 (N.D.Ala. 1986) -- represented attorney who challenged advertising restrictions and unsuccessfully sought fees after Alabama Supreme Court modified the rule
My Cases: Misc. Civil Rights Cases
Thomas v. Alabama, 448 US 903 (1980) -- death penalty challenge
Parker v. Downing, 547 So.2d 1180, 55 Ed. Law Rep. 1240 (Ala Civ App 1988), cert, den. 547 So.2d 1185 -- appeal relating to application of Batson v. Kentucky to civil trials and attorneys fees in civil rights action tried in state court
Lynch v. Baxley, 386 F.Supp. 378 (M.D. Ala. 1974) (three judge court) -- declared Alabama civil commitment statutes unconstitutional
Moore v. Hinton, 513 F.2d 781 (5th Cir. 1975) -- challenge of failure to inform uncounseled defendant that driver's license would be revoked upon conviction of driving while intoxicated
Slay v. State of Alabama, 636 F.2d 1045 (5th Cir B 1981) -- appointed by court to represent prisoner on appeal from improper summary judgment in civil rights case against sheriff and jailer
Still v. Personnel Board of Jefferson County, 406 So.2d 860 (Ala 1981), cert. denied 455 US 1020 (1982) -- Alabama courts are not required to grant attorneys fees when federal civil rights claim is alleged but not reached by court in making its decision
Seritt v. State of Alabama, 731 F.2d 728 (11th Cir. 1984), cert. denied 469 US 1062 (1984) -- unsuccessful habeas corpus challenge to Alabama's habitual offender laws
Protection of privacy
The Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion in Ex parte A.B. on 21 July 2006. A.B. had sought a mandamus to overturn a circuit court order requiring her to disclose extremely private information -- the identity of the father of her child which was known to no one other than the father. I represented the petitioner A.B.
The plaintiff in the circuit court had demanded to know the name of the father solely for her use in choosing jurors in the case. I argued to the Supreme Court that this disclosure would violate the privacy rights of my client and would do little to help the plaintiff choose a jury. An example will help:
Assume that Bob Woodward was sued in an automobile accident case several years back. The plaintiff says, "I need to know the name of Deep Throat to make sure that he or someone knows him does not show up on the jury." Since, at that time, no one knew who Deep Throat was, no one could be influenced for or against Woodward by knowing Deep Throat. (I wish I had thought up that example to use in the brief.) So it was in this case. No one who happens to know Mr. X could be influence by Mr. X's connection with A.B. if no one knows the connection between A.B. and X.
You may download a copy of the Court's decision here.
My Cases: Racial Vote Dilution
Bolden v. City of Mobile, 423 F.Supp. 384 (S.D. Ala.. 1976); aff'd 571 F.2d 238 (5th Cir. 1978), rev. 446 US 55 (1980); vac. and rem. 626 F.2d 1324 (5th Cir. 1980); after remand by US Supreme Court, 542 F.Supp. 1050 (S.D. Ala. 1982) -- reapportionment of Mobile city commission
Brown v. Moore, 428 F.Supp. 1123 (S.D. Ala. 1976), vac. & rem. sub nom. Williams v. Brown, 446 US 236 (1980), vac. & rem. sub nom. Brown v. Moore, 631 F.2d 731 (5th Cir. 1980) (merits); sub nom. Moore v. Brown, 448 US 1335 (1980) (Powell, Cir.J.) (application for stay); after remand by US Supreme Court, 542 F.Supp. 1078 (S.D. Ala. 1982), aff'd 706 F.2d 1103 (11th Cir. 1983), aff'd mem. sub nom. Board of School Comm'rs v. Brown, 464 US 1005 (1983) -- reapportionment of Mobile county commission and school board
Johnson v. Hamrick, 1998 WL 476186 (N.D.Ga.1998), 196 F.3d 1216 (11th Cir. 1999) -- successful Section 2 claim against city council remanded for additional findings of fact
Davis v. Chiles, 139 F.3d 1414 (11th Cir. 1998), cert. den. sub nom. Davis v. Bush, 526 U.S. 1003 --challenge to at-large judicial elections
Dillard v. Crenshaw County, 640 F.Supp. 1347, 649 F.Supp. 289 (M.D. Ala. 1986) (11th Cir. 1987) -- reapportionment action against nine county commissions: Pickens, Etowah, Calhoun, Russell, Lawrence, Crenshaw, Coffee, Talladega, Escambia; all counties settled except Calhoun, which appealed on the remedy issue; the case was later amended to ask for reapportionment of 188 other county commissions, county school boards, and city and town councils; additional reported decisions are listed below:
Dillard v. Crenshaw County (Calhoun County), 679 F.Supp. 1546 (M.D.Ala. 1988), aff’d 831 F.2d 246 (11th Cir. 1987)
Dillard v. Baldwin County Commission, 694 F.Supp. 836 (M.D. Ala. 1988), 701 F.Supp. 808 (M.D.Ala., 1988) aff’d 862 F.2d 878 (11th Cir. 1988)
Dillard v. Baldwin County Board of Education, 686 F.Supp. 1459, 47 Ed. Law Rep. 915 (M.D. Ala. 1988)
Dillard v. Town of Louisville, 730 F.Supp. 1546 (M.D.Ala., 1990)
Dillard v Baldwin County Commission, 53 F.Supp.2d 1266 (M.D.Ala.1999), vac. and rem. 225 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 2000) --representing black voters in challenge by intervenors against authority of federal court to order change in size of county commission in racial vote dilution case
Dillard v. Chilton County Board of Education, 699 F.Supp. 870 (M.D. Ala. 1988), aff'd 868 F.2d 1274, 1989 US App Lexis 1336 (11th Cir. 1989) -- approval of settlement containing cumulative voting plan
Dillard v. City of Greensboro, 865 F.Supp. 773, 870 F.Supp. 1031 (M.D. Ala. 1994), vacated and remanded 74 F.3d 230 (11th Cir. 1996), on remand 946 F.Supp. 946 (M.D. Ala. 1996), 956 F.Supp. 1576 (M.D. Ala.1997); 34 F.Supp.2d 1330 (M.D. Ala. 1999) (awarding fees)
Dillard v. City of Foley, 926 F.Supp. 1053 (M.D. Ala. 1995), 166 F.R.D. 503, 35 Fed.R.Serv.3d 314 (M.D. Ala. 1996), 995 F.Supp. 1358 (M.D. Ala. 1998) -- approving agreement for annexation elections to settle suit claiming refusal to annex black-majority areas, and second opinion on fees
Dillard v. Crenshaw County, 748 F.Supp. 819 (M.D.Ala. 1990) --court enforced settlement made by Shelby County Commission despite its attempt to withdraw
Dillard v. Town of Cuba, 708 F.Supp. 1244 (M.D. Ala. 1988) -- approving settlements for limited voting plans in Towns of Cuba and Waldo
Dillard v. Town of North Johns, 717 F.Supp. 1471 (M.D.Ala., 1989)
Sumbry v. Russell County, Ala., 993 F.Supp. 1439 (M.D.Ala. 1998) --representing black voters in challenge by intervenors against authority of federal court to order change in size of county commission in racial vote dilution case
Medders v. Autauga County Board of Education, 858 F.Supp. 1118 (M.D. Ala. 1994) (awarding fees)
Dillard v. City of Elba, 863 F.Supp. 1550 (M.D. Ala. 1993) (awarding fees)
Brooks v. Hobbie, 631 So.2d 883 (1993) -- redistricting of Alabama Legislature
Hawthorne v. Baker, 750 F.Supp. 1090 (M.D.Ala. 1990), 756 F.Supp. 527 (M.D.Ala. 1990), 762 F.Supp. 1475 (M.D.Ala. 1991) --challenge to method of selection of members of governing bodies of state and county Democratic committees (Sections 2 and 5 of Voting Rights Act)
Taylor v. Jefferson County Commission, CV 84_C_1730_S (N.D. Ala.), settled August 1985 -- resulted in the Jefferson County Commission being changed from a three_member at_large body to a five_member body being elected from single_member districts
Adams v. City of Gadsden, CV 85_PT_1054_M (N.D. Ala.), settled June 1985 -- resulted in Gadsden's abandonment of the commission form of government and utilizing a mayor and 7_member council, elected from single_member districts
McMillan v. Escambia County, Fla., 638 F.2d 1239 and 1249 (5th Cir. 1981), county commission aspect reversed on rehearing 688 F.2d 960 (5th Cir. 1982), reh. en banc den. 692 F.2d 758 (5th Cir. 1982); vac. and rem. 466 US 48 (1984); on remand from Supreme Court, aff'd 748 F.2d 1037 (5th Cir. 1984); on remand from Court of Appeals, 559 F.Supp. 720 (ND Fla 1983), appeal docketed No. 83_3275 (11th Cir), cert. before judgment denied, 464 US 830 (1983) -- reapportionment of Escambia County commission and school board and Pensacola city commission
Jenkins v. City of Pensacola, 638 F.2d 1249 (5th Cir. 1981) -- remedy phase of city aspect of McMillan; proper use of mixed plan of apportionment to remedy a proven racial dilution by at_large elections
Nevett v. Sides, 533 F.2d 1361 (5th Cir. 1976), 571 F.2d 209 (5th Cir. 1978), cert. denied 446 US 95 (1980) -- reapportionment of Fairfield
Corder v. Kirksey, 585 F.2d 708 (5th Cir. 1978), 625 F.2d 520 (5th Cir. 1980), 639 F.2d 1191 (5th Cir. 1981), rehearing denied 688 F.2d 991 (5th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 460 US 1013 (1983) -- reapportionment of Pickens Co. commission and school board
Broadhead v. Ezell, 348 F.Supp. 1244 (S.D. Ala. 1972) -- reapportionment of Choctaw County Commission
Cane v. Worcester County, Maryland, 35 F.3d 921 (4th Cir. 1994); 59 F.3d 165 (4th Cir. 1995) -- amicus curiae brief supporting use of cumulative voting as a remedy for racial vote dilution
My Cases: Other Election and Voting Rights Cases
Underwood v. Hunter, 604 F.2d 367 (5th Cir. 1979), 622 F.2d 1042 (5th Cir. 1980), 730 F.2d 614 (11th Cir. 1984), aff'd 471 U.S. 222 (1985) -- successful challenge of Alabama constitutional provision barring certain misdemeanants from voting
Holt Civic Club v. City of Tuscaloosa, 525 F.2d 653 (5th Cir. 1975); 439 U.S. 60 (1978) -- challenge to police jurisdiction statutes
Kiel v. Purvis, 510 So.2d 190 (Ala 1987) -- successful attack on local law restricting campaigning on election day
Vintson v. Anton, 786 F.2d 1023 (11th Cir. 1986) -- successfully defended Democratic Party in Republican Party challenge to method of appointment of polling officials in Walker County
Phillips v. Beasley, 78 F.R.D. 207 (N.D. Ala. 1978), rev. & rem. sub nom. Phillips v. Andress, 634 F.2d 947 (5th Cir B 1981) -- challenge to practice of allowing non_residents to vote in school board elections
Creel v. Freeman, 531 F.2d 286 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied 429 US 1066 (1977) -- similar case to Phillips above
Hobson v. Pow, 434 F.Supp. 362 (N.D. Ala. 1977) -- declared Alabama Constitutional provision disenfranchising “wife beaters” to be unconstitutional under the federal constitution
League of Women Voters v. Renfro, 292 Ala 128, 290 So.2d 167 (1974) -- attacked Saturday closing of registrars
Prigmore v. Renfro, 356 F.Supp. 427 (N.D. Ala.) (three judge court) aff'd 410 US 919 (1974) -- attacked limitations on availability of absentee ballots
Whig Party v. Siegelman, 500 F.Supp. 1195 (N.D. Ala. 1980), injunction stayed pending appeal, appeal dismissed as moot (unreported) -- represented Alabama Democratic Party as amicus curiae in case challenging state election laws restricting nominations by small parties
Harris v. Conradi, 675 F.2d 1212 (11th Cir. 1982) -- defended Democratic Party in unsuccessful challenge by Republican Party to state statute allowing unequal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to be appointed as election officials
Harris v. Graddick, 593 F.Supp. 128, 601 F.Supp. 70 (M.D. Ala. 1984) -- represented Democratic Party (nominal defendants) in suit to reform method of selection of polling officials
Newman v. Hunt, 787 F.Supp. 193 (M.D. Ala. 1992) -- attacked racial discrimination in gubernatorial appointment to fill vacancy on county commission
My Cases: Constitutional Challenges to Taxation
Shell v. Jefferson County, 454 So.2d 1331 (Ala 1984) -- unsuccessful attack on increased sewer charges
Eagerton v. Williams, 433 So.2d 436 (Ala 1983) -- represented amicus in class action seeking adjustment of taxes
Weissinger v. White, 733 F.2d 802 (11th Cir. 1984) -- unsuccessful attack on Alabama statute providing for "current use" valuation of farm property.
McCarthy v. Jones, 449 F.Supp. 480 (S.D. Ala. 1978) -- successful equal protection challenge to ad valorem taxation statute setting different rates in various counties