LWVTN webinar open to the public
On Wednesday, June 9, at noon (EDT), University of Memphis Bredesen Professor of Law Stephen Mulroy will discuss the legal and political aspects of redistricting in a Zoom webinar hosted by the League of Women Voters of Tennessee. Registration for the webinar is free at lwvtn.org.
LWVTN is hosting Mulroy’s presentation, “The Great Unskewing: The Law and Politics of Redistricting,” as part of an effort to educate the public regarding the redistricting process that occurs every 10 years. This process is at the heart of the U.S. election system and defines how our votes are counted. The League promotes transparent and accountable redistricting processes and the cessation of hyper-partisan practices that don’t benefit constituents.
Beyond a winner-take-all system
Mulroy will discuss the federal and state law requirements regarding redistricting as well as arguments for nonpartisan redistricting commissions as discussed in his book, Rethinking U.S. Election Law: Unskewing the System. He will also provide insight regarding why any single-member district, winner-take-all system will lead inevitably to “natural gerrymanders” and why we should consider proportional representation systems with multimember districts, as provided for in the Fair Representation Act currently pending in Congress.
Professor Mulroy has been on the law faculty at the University of Memphis since 2000, where he teaches constitutional, election, and criminal law; criminal procedure; and civil rights. As a former civil rights lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department and former federal prosecutor, he tried a number of voting rights cases that went to the Supreme Court.
Legal and political perspective
As an attorney, professor, and former county commissioner, Mulroy has a unique perspective on the redistricting process. He has both participated in litigation and overseen a redistricting process in Shelby County.
As a professor, Mulroy has participated in the litigation of over a dozen cutting-edge cases, including the challenge to the Palm Beach County, Florida “butterfly ballot” in the 2000 presidential election; the first-ever federal court injunction against a state senate’s ongoing internal election recount proceedings; the first federal case imposing “cumulative voting” as a non-district remedy for minority vote dilution under the Voting Rights Act; and the court-ordered expansion of mail voting rights during the 2020 pandemic. As a former elected County Commissioner in Memphis, he also oversaw that body’s redistricting process and led the effort to have ranked choice voting adopted in Memphis.