Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 37

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Attorney General Eric Holder declined preclearance,
Texas filed a lawsuit in 2012 seeking preclearance
in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia.
The Texas NAACP and the Mexican American
Legislative Caucus intervened in the suit, with
Rosenberg serving as counsel. Rosenberg gave
the de fense's main closing argument in front of
the three-judge panel, which found that the
state failed to prove that the new law was
non-discriminatory.
Veasey was set to go to the U.S. Supreme
Court when the Shelby County v. Holder decision
came out on June 25, 2013, in which the Court
voided the Section 4 formula for the Section 5
preclearance. Then-Texas Attorney General
Greg Abbott reinstated SB 14 the same day.
Public interest organizations and the Obama
Department of Justice proceeded to file suits
under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which
prohibits practices having the intent or effect
of denying equal voting opportunities for racial
or ethnic minorities. Rosenberg and his colleagues
argued that SB 14 changed voter ID
requirements to favor types of IDs that people
of color were less likely than whites to have,
such as license to carry, and to exclude more
common forms of identification, such as government
and student IDs.
In September 2014, Rosenberg argued Veasey
v. Perry in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Texas while still at Dechert
(he joined the Lawyers' Committee staff in
early November 2014). Finding discriminatory
intent and effect, the court enjoined Texas from
implementing the law. On August 5, 2015,
the Fifth Circuit en banc affirmed the district
court's finding of discriminatory effect but
remanded the discriminatory " intent " question
to the lower court.
In light of the upcoming 2016 presidential
election, the district court ordered a remedy
allowing voters to register if they did not have
the specified IDs by signing a statement of reasonable
impediment. The Texas legislature
passed SB 5, which essentially adopted
the remedial order. In the last of the substantial
Veasey challenges, in 2018 the Fifth Circuit declined
to rule on " intent " saying the case was
over, leaving the remedial measure for discriminatory
effect (SB 5) in place.
However, voting rights arguments continue
today. In 2021, for example, Justice Samuel
Alito, in a controversial U.S. Supreme Court
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022
* WASHINGTON LAWYER 37
decision, set restrictive guideposts for Section
2 in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee,
which could be reversed by a proposed congressional
bill.
Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director of the
Lawyers' Committee's Voting Rights Project,
cites Georgia as an example of where she and
Rosenberg have complementary efforts. In the
aftermath of the 2020 election, Johnson-Blanco
worked with a coalition to counter the Georgia
legislature's proposed voting changes, but the
legislature advanced and passed SB 202, which
prohibits bringing water to voters waiting in
line and adds greater restrictions on absentee
ballots and drop boxes.
" So Ezra steps in, and we are now . . . using the
work from the program and the advocacy to
make the case in court that this law was passed
with the intent to discriminate against minority
voters because we showed this is how minorities
vote, " Johnson-Blanco explains.
Rosenberg feels grateful to be where he is in
his career and for all the learning experiences
along the way. At this point, Rosenberg says
he is doing his most satisfying work and credits
his wife, Betsy Doverman, for supporting his
shift to public interest law. " She let me know in
JEST IS FOR ALL
no uncertain terms that I was not to sit around
the house after retirement from Dechert and
that I should be doing good work. " Rosenberg
expects his work with the Lawyers' Committee
to be no less pressing in 2022, with a heavy
focus on redistricting matters.
His experience working with his colleagues on
Veasey still resonates, Rosenberg says. " I really
cut my Voting Rights Act teeth on the Veasey
case, " he says. " I still pinch myself and say, 'I am
really doing this!' "
Richard Blaustein is a science, environmental, and
legal journalist based in Washington, D.C.
Do you know a D.C. Bar member who has
done outstanding work in their area of
practice? We are interested in hearing
stories about the careers and personal
journeys of our diverse members around the
country and the world. Pitch us a profile
story at editorial@dcbar.org.

Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022

From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Protecting the Integrity of the Profession: A Conversation on Legal Ethics
How Far Should You Go? Frivolous Claims & Litigation Ethics
The Solo/Small Firm Life: Lean, Mean Business Machine
Upping Your Game With Professional Coaching
The Founding of the D.C. Bar
Taking the Stand
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
ABA Delegate’s Corner
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Intro
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - A
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - B
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 4
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 5
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Protecting the Integrity of the Profession: A Conversation on Legal Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 12
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 14
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - How Far Should You Go? Frivolous Claims & Litigation Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 18
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - The Solo/Small Firm Life: Lean, Mean Business Machine
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Upping Your Game With Professional Coaching
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 26
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - The Founding of the D.C. Bar
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 32
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - ABA Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - 47
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2022 - Cover4
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