WASHINGTON, DC – New reporting from the Alabama Political Reporter uncovered damning connections between right-wing judicial activist Leonard Leo’s “powerful national dark money network,” Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the Alabama officials who led the 2023 redistricting process.
Their reporting shows that new districts submitted by the state of Alabama were in clear defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Allen v. Milligan. But, Justice Kavanaugh – who previously ruled with the majority in Milligan – reportedly signaled openness to rehearing the case as a constitutional challenge to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
State legislators did not craft these new districts alone, it was orchestrated by those with close ties to Leonard Leo and members of the Federalist Society. Alabama officials are working to undo key protections for voters of color and overturn remaining protections in the Voting Rights Act.
Leo and his dark money operatives continue to pull the strings of our nation’s highest court to erode our democratic system,” said Accountable.US senior advisor Kyle Herrig. “It’s no surprise that Leo’s hand-picked Justices are furthering his agenda and attacking voting rights. Leo thinks he and his cronies should be the one to choose our political leaders - not the American people."
Alabama Political Reporter highlights:
“With few exceptions, the justices Leo has ushered to the bench have reliably voted to permit the partisan gerrymanders and strict restrictions on voting access that have proliferated in recent years from red-state legislatures, which themselves work in tandem with — and sometimes under the direction of — Leo’s dark money groups.”
“The Alabama government’s briefs before the three-judge panel in September referenced a concurring opinion by Kavanaugh that questioned whether ‘race-based redistricting’ can ‘extend indefinitely into the future.’”
“The tangled web of previously unreported ties centers around Marshall, Alabama Solicitor General Edmond LaCour — dubbed ‘the architect behind Alabama’s voting rights defiance’ — and the D.C.-area law firm Consovoy McCarthy, the firm founded by William Consovoy, a now-deceased former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas who represented Shelby County in Shelby County v. Holder.”
“Consovoy McCarthy has handled many high-profile cases assailing measures to redress racial discrimination on behalf of right-wing groups tied to Leo. For instance, Consovoy McCarthy has repeatedly represented the Honest Elections Project, an alias for The 85 Fund, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) group closely tied to Leo, and it represented the Leo-connected dark money group Students for Fair Admissions in its successful challenge to Harvard’s affirmative action program at the Supreme Court.”
“The 85 Fund has also been tied to Leo’s efforts to coordinate anonymously funded briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in highly charged political cases.”
“LaCour is also a Federalist Society contributor and previously clerked for Eleventh Circuit Judge William Pryor, a close ally of Leo and Justice Thomas, and a vocal Federalist Society defender. LaCour’s wife, Alice Shih LaCour, is also a Federalist Society contributor, and her Federalist Society profile notes that she ‘served on the confirmation teams [at the Justice Department] to ‘elevate Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.’”
“These previously unreported connections between Alabama officials who led the state’s 2023 redistricting process and various players seeking to reshape America may be the reason Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature gambled on a rehearing before the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes their inside intelligence was right in believing Kavanaugh would change his previous vote in Allen v. Milligan.”