Voting rights advocate to speak at Bates

Joaquin G. Avila, a litigator and advocate in the field of voting rights law, will deliver a lecture titled The Voting Rights Act: Affirmative Action in Levelling the Political Playing Field as part of the Creative Approach to Public Policy lecture series at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave. The public is invited and admission is free.

In complex federal civil rights lawsuits, Avila has sought enforcement of the special Section 5 preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which prevent any voting changes adopted with a discriminatory purpose or that have a discriminatory effect on minority voting strength. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.

Avila, who was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1996, received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

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