American Studies faculty member and Asian American Studies Director, Dr. Janelle Wong, co-authored a brief to the United States Supreme Court in defense of the Voting Rights Act along with several political science and law scholars from other universities and institutions across the country. In February, the Supreme Court held a hearing regarding the decision by Congress to uphold Congress’s renewal of the act, in particular the stipulation that areas with a history of discriminatory practices in their electoral processes must seek federal approval before making changes to their voting laws. The Voting Rights Act was being challenged by Shelby County, Alabama as being too restrictive and no longer necessary. The group of scholars filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief to encourage the Supreme Court to uphold the Voting Rights Act.
Co-authors included Matt Bareto and Luis Fraga from the University of Washington, Kareem Crayton from the University of North Carolina, Terry Smith from DePaul University, and Jane Junn of the University of Southern California.