Ellen Katz
Ralph W. Aigler Professor of Law

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was landmark legislation in the United States, and for Professor Ellen Katz and many Michigan Law students, it has been an ongoing laboratory for research.

Katz created the Voting Rights Initiative (VRI) at the Law School to provide data about the past and present status of minority participation in the political process.

The findings have served to inform courts, Congress, and public debate. For Katz, whose scholarship addresses questions of minority representation, political equality, and the role of institutions in crafting and implementing anti-discrimination laws, the VRI has exemplified her work both as a scholar and teacher.

“Teaching and scholarship do not always run together,” says Katz, “so it is especially gratifying to be able to combine the two as we did with the Voting Rights Initiative here at Michigan.”