A federal appeals judge nominated by President Donald Trump had a sharp dissent this week challenging the right of individuals and organizations to sue state governments over Voting Rights Act violations.
The majority opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said Judge Elizabeth “Lisa” Branch‘s dissent would upend more than 50 years of civil rights litigation by private litigants who sue state governments over discriminatory election practices. Branch, who embraced constitutionalism and textualism during her 2017 confirmation hearing, came down squarely on the side of Alabama Monday, citing an Eleventh Amendment prohibition barring citizens from suing a state without that state’s express permission.
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