Voting Rights & Redistricting

Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo has extensive experience with voting rights advice and litigation. Our voting rights practice is headed by H. Reed Witherby. Mr. Witherby has been involved in voting rights matters since 1987, when, as an Assistant Attorney General, he defended Massachusetts’s legislative redistricting plans against a federal court challenge, an assignment that included advising the House in successful negotiations with a coalition of minority group advocates.  Mr. Witherby advised the Massachusetts House on drawing new election districts in 1993 and served as special counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Redistricting Committee in 2001-02 and again in 2011-12.   Mr. Witherby also advised the Rhode Island General Assembly in drawing new districts in 2001-02 and participated in the successful defense of those districts against challenges brought in Rhode Island state and federal court.  He also represented the San Carlos Apache Tribe in a legal challenge to Arizona’s redistricting in 2002, and he worked with a legal team challenging the 2002 redistricting of the New York Senate.


Mr. Witherby has made presentations on minority vote dilution analysis and on theories of representation and population equality to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and he taught a seminar on redistricting at Northeastern University School of Law in 2001.  He is the co-author (with Paul A. Lazour) of "Redistricting in Massachusetts," in Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law (K. Green & M. Tassinari, eds., MCLE 2012).