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Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One (MUD) v. Holder

Topic(s): Campaign Finance
Protecting Constitutional Rights and Requirements
Status: open
Date Of Involvement: 10/01/2006
Docket: 1:06-cv-01384

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This case was brought by the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One to challenge the constitutionality of the renewed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Public Citizen, as co-counsel with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, represented three Latino voters in Texas who intervened as defendants to defend the constitutionality of the Act and protect their voting rights. A three-judge panel heard the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and upheld the constitutionality of the Act. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court avoided the constitutional question and reversed the district court’s decision on statutory grounds, finding that the utility district is a political subdivision eligible under the Act to seek bailout.