By Ryan Schoensee
Special Projects Writer, Office of University Communications
(Oct. 26, 2012) -- The UTSA College of Public Policy will present "Defending the Right to Vote: Today's Challenges," a Dean's Distinguished Lecture by John Tanner, former chief of the Voting Section of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Free and open to the public, the lecture will be 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. A reception will follow the lecture in the Buena Vista Street Building Assembly Room (1.338).
Tanner will address current controversies in voting rights, such as Texas redistricting, the enforcement of voter ID and disputes over the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act prescreening requirements.
Tanner served with the White House Office of Counsel to the President, as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and with the Justice Department Office of Legislative Affairs. For several years, he was the principal Justice Department attorney for voting rights enforcement in Alabama and Mississippi.
In 2004, Tanner received the John Doar Award, the Civil Rights Division's highest honor. In 2005, he became chief of the Voting Section of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division and started a record-breaking initiative to protect the rights of Latinos and other language minority citizens. He now works in private practice, where he has represented the Texas Legislative Black Caucus in successful Texas redistricting and voter ID cases.
Free event parking will be available in lot D-3 under Interstate 35. For more information or to reserve a seat for the event, contact the UTSA College of Public Policy at 210-458-2530.
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