Alicia Bannon and Nathaniel Sobel

Alicia Bannon is senior counsel, and Nathaniel Sobel is special assistant in the Democracy Program at New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice.

Recent Articles

A Test of American Democracy

In attempts to undermine democracy, state lawmakers have set their sights on the courts.

(Photo: AP/Robert Willett/News & Observer)
(Photo: AP/Robert Willett/The News & Observer) People celebrate at Davie Street Presbyterian Church in Raleigh on May 15 after learning that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider reinstating North Carolina's 2013 elections law. T his week, after years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a federal appeals court decision striking down North Carolina’s restrictive 2013 voting law. The lower court had ruled that parts of the law illegally “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision.” That outcome is a victory not only for North Carolina voters but also for our democracy. For the political process to function, state and federal lawmakers must respect baseline democratic norms—the laws and traditions that guard the integrity of our democracy against extreme political gamesmanship and threats to minority rights. When state lawmakers cross those lines, as they did in North Carolina, it is up to the courts to protect core democratic values and the rule of...