A Judicial Nominee and Voting Rights

The Story:

Voting itself is one of the boiling pots of contention between the two major political parties in the United States now. What Democrats call “voting suppression” bills and oppose is what Republicans call “voting integrity” bills and support. A new judicial nomination from President Biden may raise the heat beneath this pot.

Background:

Biden has nominated Myrna Pérez, a voting rights lawyer, to a seat on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York. This is the appeals court for the circuit that includes all the US district courts in Connecticut, Vermont, and New York.

Pérez at present runs the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program at the New York University School of Law. She is both a scholar of and an activist in the field.

The Thing to Know:

Thus far, the US Senate has not rejected any of the new President’s judicial nominations, despite the closeness of the party division there. Given the broad understanding of voter rights for which this nominee has advocated, though, the Republicans may decide that they want Ms Pérez as a first scalp.

Responding to their criticism, Pérez has acknowledged that she has long been an advocate. She has also said, though, that she understands that the roles of advocate and judge differ, and that she can put aside the former role in order to adopt the new one.

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