SCSJ’s Allison Riggs Chosen as Oralist in North Carolina’s Partisan Gerrymandering Case

Voting Rights

Case marks the second argument for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice at the U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Plaintiffs in Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC) will be represented by Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, when the case is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26. This will be Ms. Riggs’ second oral argument before the Court.  She previously argued Abbott v. Perez in April 2018, a racial gerrymandering case out of Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion for divided argument earlier today. Plaintiffs in Rucho v. Common Cause, another partisan gerrymandering challenge from North Carolina that was combined with the LWVNC case, will be represented by another attorney.

More biographical information about Ms. Riggs is included below.

The following statements were issued following the announcement of Ms. Riggs being selected as the oralist in the case:

“The voters of North Carolina will be exceedingly well served by one of the brightest and most skilled advocates that we have in the civil rights bar.  Allison is fully prepared to make the best case for fair districts on behalf of our clients to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Kareem Crayton, Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.  “This case highlights many issues, but the most significant of them is the right of American voters to control their government.  Allison is an ideal choice to explain why the erosion of the ability of people to be heard is an urgent concern this Court must address.”

“We are proud to be representing the League of Women Voters plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case challenging the egregious North Carolina congressional gerrymander.  Working with our co-counsel, we are working to make the best case we can about the need to rein in rampant partisan gerrymandering,” said Paul Smith, vice president of Campaign Legal Center and counsel of record in the case. “Co-counsel Allison Riggs, as a North Carolinian herself, truly understands the impact the state legislature’s egregious gerrymander has had on our democracy and will surely make a compelling oral argument to the Supreme Court.”

“The League of Women Voters of North Carolina is delighted to be working with Allison Riggs, who is an expert in voting rights litigation in North Carolina,” said Janet Hoy, co-president of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.  “Given Allison’s work in redistricting – and voting rights cases overall- we believe she is uniquely positioned to effectively and persuasively argue this case at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Aside from its potential national impact, this case can help restore integrity to the voting process in North Carolina and ensure that North Carolinians’ votes will matter.”

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and University of Chicago Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos represent the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and 12 individual North Carolina plaintiffs in the case, Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina. The Supreme Court will simultaneously hear a companion case, Rucho v. Common Cause.

Biographical information about Allison Riggs:

Allison Riggs leads the voting rights program at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice based in Durham, NC, an organization she joined in 2009.  Her voting rights work has been focused on fighting for fair redistricting plans, fighting against voter suppression, and advocating for electoral reforms that would expand access to voting.  She has litigated redistricting cases on behalf of State NAACP Conferences in Texas, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina.

In 2016, she successfully challenged North Carolina’s Monster Voter Suppression Law, which the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined “target[ed] African-American voters with almost surgical precision.”  In 2018, she argued Abbott v. Perez, a Texas redistricting case in the United States Supreme Court.

Allison works closely with grassroots organizations and communities of color as they seek to advance their political and civil rights.  She received her undergraduate, Master’s Degree, and J.D. from the University of Florida.