Virginia Voter ID Law Goes On Trial in February 2016

Arent Fox has been retained by the Commonwealth of Virginia to defend the state in a closely watched voting rights lawsuit that challenges a statute requiring Virginians to display photo identification when going to the polls on Election Day.

The lawsuit, Barbara Lee, et al. v. Virginia State Board of Elections, was filed in June in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by the Democratic Party of Virginia and argues that the State Board of Elections crafted unconstitutional voting restrictions in 2013. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office retained Arent Fox as counsel following a competitive selection process.

Virginia is required to defend its voter ID law. The Washington Post reports that the central issue is whether the law severely burdens poor and minority voters who are most likely not to have valid ID.

Partner Thor Hearne will lead a team that includes partner Dana Finberg, and associate Stephen Davis. Thor is a former counsel for President George W. Bush’s election campaigns and served as counsel in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the 2008 United States Supreme Court case that found voter ID laws constitutional.

To read more about the latest developments in the case from the Washington Post, click here.


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