American Civil Rights Project

The American Civil Rights Project knows that Americans’ civil rights are individual rights, equally held by all (regardless of whether those rights are understood as a positive enactment of centuries of ratifiers or as the common endowment of all children from nature and nature’s God). The ACR Project exists to protect and, where necessary, restore the primacy of all Americans’ shared civil rights. And we need your help!

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The American Civil Rights Project, a public-interest law firm, seeks to assure that American law equally protects all Americans. The ACR Project needs your help to pay for its efforts seeking to accomplish that goal. The ACR Project is a tax-exempt public charity, under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, so all contributions to the ACR Project may be tax deductible under Section 170 of the Code.

Our Latest News

Escaping the Goldilocks Problem: A Proposal That Would Enable States to Avoid Redistricting Litigation

January 7th, 2021|Blog|

For a generation, state and local governments have faced a Goldilocks problem when they redistrict. Courts require them to use race to design districts in order to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, but they invalidate maps under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when racial considerations “predominated” in the drawing of districts. Seemingly every approach state and local governments have taken to try to draw districts that would comply with these dueling requirements leaves them in the crosshairs of plaintiffs and the federal judiciary: ignoring race entirely, following bright-line concentration rules established by Supreme Court precedents to assure protected classes’ voting power, deferring to the requests presented by representatives of protected classes, deferring to the decisions of nominally non-partisan redistricting panels, and more. There is also an obvious disconnect between voting reformers’ complaints about our current redistricting systems and those reformers’ proposed solutions. Almost no proposal on offer would solve these problems, and almost every proposal on the table would actually make them worse. Indeed, even the remedies imposed by courts have been attacked in later litigation as violating one or both of Goldilocks’ warring demands. But there is a solution to the Goldilocks problem. State and local governments can avoid further redistricting litigation under both the Constitution and Section 2 by simply getting out of the game and drawing no districts whatsoever. This piece originally ran, along with a response from Kevin St. John and a reply from the author, in The Federalist Society Review, Vol. 21.

An Update on Challenges to California’s Statutes Allocating Corporate Board Seats by Race, Ethnicity, Sex, and Gender

December 17th, 2020|Blog|

The furthest advanced effort of the California legislature to allocate opportunities on the basis of group identities has got to be the statutes (two passed in the last three years) to amend the state’s Corporations Code to dictate whom stockholders can elect as their directors. These allocations have been challenged in state and federal court, and -- should it survive those initial suits -- additional claims will surely follow. This piece originally ran on the blog of the Civil Rights Practice Group of the Federalist Society.

August 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965

July 7th, 2020|Blog|

Things happen slow and then fast. It took almost a century for Congress, and President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964, putting America back on the side of defending the equality before the law of all U.S. Citizens. Then, it took less than a year (less than a week after an intervening atrocity) for President Johnson to call Congress to the special session that would produce the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This piece originally ran as part of a Constituting America program on American history. This piece originally

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