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Mayer Brown partner Michael Kimberly receives Defender of Democracy Award from Common Cause

8 June 2017

Mayer Brown announced today that Litigation & Dispute Resolution partner Michael Kimberly (Washington DC) is the recipient of the 2017 Defender of Democracy Award from Common Cause, for his “work to make fair representation the law of the land in the United States.”

Acting as lead counsel for individual Maryland voters in Shapiro v. McManus, Mr. Kimberly won a unanimous victory before the US Supreme Court, which held that credible claims of partisan redistricting must be heard before a special three-judge district court. Once the case was returned to the three-judge district court, Mr. Kimberly recruited new plaintiffs to the lawsuit, reconceptualized the theory of the case (relying on the “First Amendment retaliation” doctrine), and defeated the State’s motion to dismiss in a groundbreaking victory that at the time garnered him recognition as the “Litigator of the Week” in the AmLaw Litigation Daily. Common Cause said that Mr. Kimberly’s “fight against the manipulation of elections through gerrymandering is a prime example of how one person’s efforts can make our democracy work for all people.”

Founded in 1970, Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy, empowering citizens to make their voices heard and ensuring that elected officials serve the interests of the public. Its goal is to create open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest; to promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and to empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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