Associate professor of law Kareem Crayton delivered our first Hutchins Lecture of the fall on September 27, 2012. Professor Crayton was introduced by Daniel Gitterman, associate professor of public policy, UNC.

For many years, the state of North Carolina has held a special role in the world of political redistricting, finding its way to court on multiple occasions to clarify how and why certain choices could be made. The recently completed process has proven no different. The Republican-controlled legislature has enacted a series of important changes to the district map, ostensibly to comply with its understanding of federal and state law. However, these plans face significant legal challenges that pose important legal and policy questions about political opportunity, racial fairness, and federalism that once again place North Carolina back at the center of large and important debates. Crayton, an expert on voting and political representation, will address the complex issues related to race, politics, and voting in redistricting. His talk will provide an analysis of the specific ways that North Carolina raises policy and legal considerations for citizens, elected officials, voting rights activists, and political parties—issues that will likely be addressed in the United State Supreme Court.

Kareem Crayton, a native Southerner, is one of the few academic experts in the nation who combines formal skills from law and political science to address questions about the relationship between race and politics in modern institutions. His publications examine ongoing controversies including voter polarization, ballot measures, electoral campaigning, legislative caucus behavior, and partisan competition. Professor Crayton has used his research to aid in the development of election law and policy. He was contributing amicus counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court for the Congressional Black Caucus in the Voting Rights Act lawsuit Bartlett v. Strickland as well as co-counsel to the Congressional Tri-Caucus (Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses) in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, another seminal voting rights case. Before teaching law, Professor Crayton served as a law clerk with the South Africa Constitutional Court and the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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