Edward Blum is also the director of the Project on Fair Representation. He studies civil rights policy issues such as voting rights, affirmative action, and multiculturalism. Prior to joining AEI, he facilitated the legal challenge to dozens of racially gerrymandered voting districts and race-based school admissions and public contracting programs throughout the nation. He is the author of The Unintended Consequences of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (AEI Press, 2007). The book describes how in recent years the Voting Rights Act has caused minority voters to become pawns in partisan redistricting battles, diminished competitive elections, driven the creation of bug-splat-like voting districts, and contributed to the ideological polarization of voting districts.
Senior Fellow, Center for Equal Opportunity, 2002-2006
Director of Legal Affairs, American Civil Rights Institute, 2000-2002
Partner, JC Bradford, 1998-2000
President, Campaign for a Color-Blind America, Legal Defense and Educational Foundation, 1993-2000
Three years ago, in the widely watched case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court did something that many court observers found astonishing: It gave Congress an opportunity to, in effect, do over some provisions of the Voting Rights Act it reauthorized in 2006.
Last October, the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that will resolve whether the university should have reintroduced race-based affirmative action in its admissions process in 2005. A decision from the high court is expected this spring.
A university is more than the sum of its ethnic parts. It is comprised of individuals — black, white, Hispanic, Asian and others — who should be admitted or rejected without their race or ethnic heritage making any difference.
Although the Supreme Court dodged the constitutionality question of Section 5, most Court observers believe that the opinion unambiguously foretells that this Court is prepared to declare the provision unconstitutional.