For this episode of Democracy Is, we take a break from our usual California-focused programming to discuss the recent Supreme Court case Moore vs Harper. Typically, we wouldn’t cover a national case that didn’t directly involve California but this SCOTUS case is unique in that one of the main advocate groups championing it was Common Cause. In this episode, we are joined by Common Cause’s Alton Wang and Common Cause North Carolina’s Sailor Jones to break down what happened in North Carolina during the 2020 Redistricting Cycle and why it was so crucial for Common Cause to secure this victory!
Our Guests This Episode
Alton Wang is the Equal Justice Works Fellow at Common Cause, where he works as an attorney to ensure that communities across the country achieve fairer representation through redistricting reform. At Common Cause, Alton works to advance reforms to implement independent redistricting commissions at local and state levels, as well as supports ongoing litigation to fight gerrymandering in the courts.
Prior to Common Cause, Alton served as a policy advisor in Congress, where he worked to advance issues including expanding access to higher education, pushing for immigration reform, and addressing the healthcare needs of our communities. He has also worked to increase civic engagement amongst underrepresented communities in earlier roles as a community organizer.
Alton earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Sociology from Wesleyan University. He earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law with a focus on public interest law.
Sailor Jones joined Common Cause NC in 2022 as the organization’s Associate Director. In the years prior to joining Common Cause NC, Sailor focused on pro-democracy work as Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s CommunIcations Director and Democracy North Carolina’s Campaigns Director. In both roles, he supervised messaging and communications work, digital efforts, resource creation and training, and worked closely with internal teams and external partners to coordinate successful organizing and advocacy campaigns and programs.
During Sailor’s more than a decade of experience in social justice spaces, he served in various roles with other North Carolina-based organizations such as Equality NC, the League of Women Voters of NC, NARAL Pro Choice NC, NC AIDS Action Network, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, and the North Carolina NAACP. Sailor hails from rural Eastern North Carolina and is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University School of Law.
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Common Cause Articles
- Common Cause Overview: Moore v. Harper: No Lawless Lawmakers
- More information of the decision: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Dangerous Attempt to Destroy Democracy
- Additional filings on Moore v. Harper: MOORE V. HARPER
In the News
- The Supreme Court has an electoral ‘bomb’ on its hands. Will it defuse it before 2024? (Politico, 5/13/23)
- Common Cause’s Kathay Feng on Moore v. Harper (MSNBC, 12/12/22)
- This Case Should Never Have Made It to the Supreme Court (New York Times, 12/9/22)
- Supreme Court denies state legislatures the unchecked power to set election rules (POLITICO, 6/27/23
- Supreme Court rejects novel legislative theory but leaves a door open for 2024 election challenges(AP News, 6/28/23)
- (The Guardian, 6/28/23)
- ( CNN, 6/27/23)
- Neal Katyal on The Moore v. Harper Ruling (MSNBC, 6/27/23)