Prof. Joyce Vance: Protect Your Vote

This post is an adaptation of tweets from Prof. Joyce Vance of Alabama Law, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama under President Obama.

Here’s a little public service announcement about your vote & the November elections. If you live in a state that is pruning its voter rolls or moving people to inactive status & you want to make sure you can vote on 11/6, what should you do? Read on, the time to act is now.

The Nat’l Voter Registration Action, also called the Motor Voter Act, provides that list maintenance programs cannot be undertaken within 90 days of a federal election. What is list maintenance & why should you care?

You may have heard about states where eligible voters were mysteriously “pruned” from voting rolls or moved to ineligible status? Despite concerns this was done to suppress Democratic votes, SCOTUS upheld these roll maintenance programs, so states can continue to do this.

A neighbor, ironically a voting rights lawyer, was moved to inactive status, despite voting consistently, in Bama’s special election. Getting restored to active status was confusing & time consuming. He had to vote a provisional ballot & take steps to insure it counted.

How do you keep this from happening to you in November? The NVRA/Motor Voter Act prohibits states from engaging in voter roll maintenance closer than 90 days to an election. We are now within that 90 day timeframe. That means you should go & update your registration NOW.

Once you’ve updated your registration & are properly listed as an active voter, the state can’t remove you, since we’re within that 90 day timeframe. If you’re not registered already, please do. If you are registered, update all of your info. You can do it online, quickly.

That’s a simple way you & your friends & family can protect your right to vote. And it wouldn’t hurt to do a screen shot capture of your updated registration. Please spread the word. Interested in reading more about the NVRA? DOJ has some info here:

A great reminder from @Jordiew, go to to check/update your registration. This will work for all states. It took me under 30 seconds to confirm I’m registered to vote in November. Now go and confirm yours & share!

Event on May 15 Marks 10th Anniversary of California Marriage Equality

Equal Justice Society

May 15, 2018, marks the tenth anniversary of the California Supreme Court’s historic ruling in In re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008), recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and strict judicial scrutiny for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

You’re invited to a special conversation about the far-reaching impacts of this historic decision. This event is co-sponsored by Morrison & Foerster LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Kate Kendell, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and former EJS board chair, will moderate the discussion, with the following distinguished speakers:

Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court

Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director

David Codell, former NCLR Constitutional Litigation Director

Professor Courtney Joslin, UC Davis School of Law.

In re Marriage Cases:
May 15, 12:00-1:30

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César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong

Equal Justice Society


This Saturday, March 31, is César E. Chávez National Holiday and César Chávez Day in California, an official state holiday. 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of César Chávez’s passing. The American labor leader and civil rights activist helped spark and lead a movement in the 1960s and 1970s to empower farmworkers in California and throughout the country in order to end the suffering caused by racist agribusiness owners.

Chávez and the United Farm Workers employed radical acts of non-violence to raise awareness of the struggles and mistreatment of the farmworkers. Chávez himself underwent many fasts to advance the farmworkers’ rights movement. In 1988, he started an eventual 36-day fast to protest the use of pesticides in the fields.

“This solution to this deadly crisis will not be found in the arrogance of the powerful,” said Chávez, “but in solidarity with the weak and helpless. I pray to God that…

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Please write Gov. Brown to support equal protection rights

If you or your community has ever been impacted negatively by a voter-initiative, we NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

AB 2646 (Ting) has made its way through the Senate and Assembly and currently awaits Governor Brown’s signature. If he does not hear from enough stakeholders, there is a chance the Governor will veto this bill.

AB 2646 offers us a tool to potentially invalidate laws, including voter initiatives, which change the political structure regarding a matter of importance to minority groups.

Click here for detailed information about this bill and a template letter that you can use to write to Governor Brown.

It does not fix all the problems with the ballot initiative system in California but it provides much-needed safeguards.

Please send a letter of support by Friday September 12, 2014.

Claudia Peña
Statewide Director