Debo Adegbile ’91 discusses voting rights on NPR
At a moment when multiple state legislatures across the U.S. are scaling back ballot access to voters who have historically been underrepresented in American politics, leading civil rights attorney Debo Adegbile ’91 appeared on NPR this week to discuss the erosion of voting rights in America.
Adegbile, who is a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, and just began a three-year term as chair of Conn’s Board of Trustees, has twice argued on behalf of the 1965 Voting Rights Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the landmark case Shelby V. Holder, the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of dismantling section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which aimed to protect the rights of people of color to vote.
“What we've seen is that the pattern of trying to disadvantage minority voters has taken many forms,” Adegbile said. “What folks in power will do is they will draw the district lines in ways that intentionally try to lessen or dilute the voices of Black or Latinx voters. And so there are extraordinary things that have been blocked and deterred by Section 5 because it required people to be thinking about the fact that they were going to be asked to come forward and make a demonstration that the act or the law was not discriminatory.”
To listen to the NPR interview and read the transcript, click here.
Adegbile was also featured in CC Magazine after discussing the legacy of the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis on Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman’s podcast, Deep Background. That interview can be found here.