In addition to other practice areas, Parks, Chesin & Walbert is uniquely suited to provide comprehensive representation of both interested citizens and state and local governments in the reapportionment process and in the litigation which normally follows a decennial census. We have represented clients across the political spectrum. David Walbert and A. Lee Parks are well-known pioneers in the area of voting rights and have significant legal successes to their credit. Both have participated in landmark voting rights cases, including the leading case on racial gerrymandering, Miller v. Johnson.
Elected officials constantly face important decisions affecting citizens’ voting rights for years into the future. The United States Constitution commands governments to equalize the population in each voting district that elects a member of a legislative body. This principle is often referred to as “one man, one vote.”
Technology has revolutionized the reapportionment process. The latest programs can actually predict, with uncanny accuracy, the future political performance of various proposed new districts. The ease with which district lines and voting precinct lines can be manipulated is misleading. Our experience in voting rights has grown with the available technology so that our ability to handle even the most legally and technically complicated voting matter is unparalleled. In this area of the law, it pays to get it right the first time
The Voting Rights Act remains a significant burden for state and local governments which are subject to strict government oversight and private lawsuits over voting issues. Numerous election laws, whether they involve the design of precints, voting ballots, voter identification requirements, and other related matters demand that no person should be denied the right to full access based on their partsianship, race or economic status.
PCW was counsel in cases brought against the public school systems of Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Bibb County, Georgia; Rock Hill, South Carolina; and several other school systems still under federal court supervision of orders mandating their integration. The lawsuits were filed to overturn 30 – 40 year old federal court orders that mandated the continuation of forced busing of public school students solely for purposes of racially balancing student populations long after the school system was fully integrated. In each of the cases, integration of the school system had long since occurred as the school systems had become majority-minority with Boards of Education that were predominantly African American. In each case, some of which included appellate proceedings, PCW won orders declaring the school systems to be unitary, replacing forced busing for “racial balancing” reason with a return to neighborhood schools in close proximity to the student’s residence.