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Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer gives frank reply to Justice Barrett; new site has law school scholarship information

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GOP lawyer gives candid answer to Justice Barrett

A lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party gave a frank answer in oral arguments Tuesday when Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked why the GOP didn’t want to count votes cast in the wrong precinct on Election Day. “Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” lawyer Michael Carvin replied. “Politics is a zero-sum game, and every extra vote they get through unlawful interpretations of Section 2 hurts us.” Carvin was referring to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bans voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color or language. At issue in the case is whether the precinct measure and a second law have a disproportionate impact on minorities in violation of Section 2. The second law bans most third parties from collecting and turning in voter ballots, a process dubbed “ballot harvesting.” The U.S. Supreme Court appeared likely to uphold the two laws, according to coverage of the arguments by several publications. The justices differed, however, on what standard to use when applying Section 2. (The New York Times, the Washington Post, SCOTUSblog)

AccessLex starts new site for law school scholarship information

A database of law school scholarships, with search filters for things like award amounts, essay requirements and locations, was announced today by AccessLex, a nonprofit that focuses on increasing access to legal education. The Law School Scholarship Databank lists almost 800 offerings, according to its website. The scholarships cover a wide range of needs, including bar study as well as awards for aspiring, incoming and current law students. The website also includes tips for getting recommendation letters, what can be done to strengthen an application and more. (The Scholarship Databank)

Lawyers mourn death of Vernon Jordan

Legal heavyweights are recalling the impact of Vernon Jordan as they mourn his death, according to the Daily Report Online. Jordan was a civil rights activist, Washington power broker and former partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He died Monday at age 85. Attorney and politician Stacey Abrams tweeted that Jordan “battled the demons of voter suppression and racial degradation, winning more than he lost.” Retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears remembered Jordan’s advice when they appeared together on a panel. “If they give you a seat at the table, it’s your responsibility to speak up, don’t just sit there,” he said. (The Daily Report Online, the New York Times)

Ropes & Gray targets return to office after Labor Day

Ropes & Gray chair Julie Jones has told lawyers and staff members that “permissive office usage” at the firm will continue until Labor Day. Jones said in a memo that she is optimistic the vaccine rollout will make it possible to return to the office even before that date. Currently, four of the firm’s offices are open to those who can prove good health, while two others are closed. (

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