Professor Pitts’ Scholarship Cited by D.C. Circuit Court in Case Involving Voting Rights Act
An article by Professor Michael Pitts was cited by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on May 18, 2012. The court upheld the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder . Section 5 requires certain state and local governments to get pre-approval from the federal government for any electoral changes. The majority opinion in the case cited Professor Pitts’ article ( Let’s Not Call the Whole Thing Off Just Yet: A Response to Samuel Issacharoff’s Suggestion to Scuttle Section 5 of the Voting Rights Ac t ) in which he argued that one of Section 5’s greatest benefits is found at the local, as opposed to state, level of government.
Professor Pitts’ scholarly work focuses on the law of democracy, particularly voting rights and election administration, and his work has been published in a variety of law reviews and journals. He frequently provides commentary about election law issues to the media and has been quoted by The Associated Press and The New York Times, and has appeared on CNN. He also is a two-time winner of the Red Cane Award for Best New Professor (2008 and 2009), a winner of the Black Cane Award for Best Professor (2010), and a recipient of a Trustee’s Teaching Award (2010). Prior to arriving at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Professor Pitts served as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice.