U.S. Supreme Court

Ex-Stockbroker Is Behind Supreme Court Cases Challenging Race in Admissions, Voting Rights Act

A little-known former stockbroker from Maine is largely responsible for two pending Supreme Court cases focusing on race, according to a wire service report.

The two cases are Fisher v. University of Texas, a challenge to race-conscious university admissions policies; and Shelby County v. Holder, challenging a provision of the Voting Rights Act that requires state and local governments with a history of discrimination to get federal approval of changes to their voting laws. The man behind the two cases is Edward Blum, according to a Reuters special report.

“Working largely on his own, with the financial support of a handful of conservative donors, Blum sought out the plaintiffs in the Fisher and Shelby County cases, persuaded them to file suit, matched them with lawyers, and secured funding to appeal the cases all the way to the high court,” Reuters says. Blum contacted Shelby County after a search of government websites, and found plaintiff Abigail Fisher because she is a daughter of a friend.

Blum runs the Project for Fair Representation, which receives funding from a tax-exempt group called Donors Trust, the story says.

The cases aren’t the only challenges to race-conscious policies put together by Blum, Reuters says. Over the last 20 years he has launched at least a dozen other suits, including two that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

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