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Professor Guy-Uriel Charles Delivers Barrett Lecture on Constitutional Law

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Feb 8, 2018


For years, UC Davis School of Law has had an array of endowed lecturers visit from across the country and deliver talks on some of the most pressing social issues of our times. This week, we had Guy-Uriel Charles, Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, Duke University School of Law, deliver the Edward Barrett Lecture on Constitutional Law.

Guy Charles

The title of his remarks was "Race, Exit and the Voting Rights Act".  For fifty years, the Voting Rights Act represented a distinctive and successful approach to addressing racial equality in voting, an approach constructed from the iron fillings of the civil rights movement. In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court struck down two of the most important provisions of the Act and signaled the end of a particular way of understanding voting rights law and policy. In this lecture, Professor Charles addressed two questions that are critical for voting rights academics and activists. First, what has been the key to the success of the voting rights model in the last fifty years? Second, where should voting rights law and policy go from here? 


[Professor Charles with Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Madhavi Sunder]

Professor Charles visited UC Davis School of Law for the day.  At lunch, he met with faculty and, among other things, discussed the Culp Colloquium, a program named in honor of former Duke Law Professor Jerome Culp that honors his legacy by assisting minority scholars and candidates in the academic market.

For the lecture, we had a full house in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom. Professor Charles offered an inspiration lecture on the Voting Rights Act that would have made King Hall's founding dean Edward Barrett proud.