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Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Proposition 8 marriage equality case the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to  hear today,  took close to four years to wind its way through the federal courts.

Chris Dusseault, a partner with Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles who typically handles business cases, found himself at the center of that case, acting as a field director before trial and working with the all-star team put together by David Boies and Ted Olson on behalf of the named couples.  It was the legal experience of a lifetime, he says, not only because of the talent working with him but also because of personal and fundamental rights involved:

“In the weeks before trial it hit me what a powerful story this was going to be . . . . . I looked at the testimony of the four plaintiffs and the powerful things they had to say about discrimination, and then I turned to the experts. We had really the top scholars from throughout the world, who had spent their whole lives just study­ing specific fields — the study of relation­ships, the study of the history of marriage, the study of discrimination against gays and lesbians, the study of political power, all of which were relevant to the issues before the court — and it brought home to me what an educational moment this was.”

Read more about his transformative experience here.

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In an order issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would not hear Kinston, N.C.’s challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

 The Court will nonetheless be considering the merits of Section 5, given its decision on Friday to hear a challenge brought by Shelby County, Alabama.

Section 5 of the VRA requires certain states and jurisdictions to get U.S. Department of Justice preclearance of changes to voting practices.

In Nix, Kinston voters who had approved a 2008 referendum for non-partisan local elections challenged the Justice Department’s refusal to preclear that change, saying that DOJ was using Section 5 in racially divisive ways. Though the Department had initially refused to preclear the change, it ultimately withdrew its objections.

The Court did not comment on why it declined to hear the Nix appeal, but a lower court had already ruled that case to be moot since DOJ had withdrawn its objections.