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James Tucker

Jim is an attorney with the law firm of Armstrong Teasdale LLP in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He is an Adjunct Professor at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, where he teaches courses on voting rights and elections law.  He is a former senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, where he litigated cases including United States v. Passaic County, the first federal takeover of a county election system for violating the Voting Rights Act’s (VRA) language assistance provisions.  He is admitted to practice in federal and state courts in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada.


Jim serves as Pro Bono Voting Rights Counsel to the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).  He was co-counsel with NARF in Toyukak v. Treadwell, the first language assistance case under the VRA fully tried to a decision since 1980.  Toyukak was settled in 2015 following the Court’s finding that Alaska violated Section 203 by failing to provide language assistance to Gwich’in and Yup’ik speaking Alaska Native voters in three regions of Alaska.  He also served as co-counsel with NARF and the ACLU’s Alaska affiliate in Nick v. Bethel, the first successful case brought on behalf of Alaska Natives under the VRA’s language and voter assistance provisions.  Other cases in which Tucker has been co-counsel with NARF include Samuelson v. Treadwell, an enforcement action under Section 5 of the VRA, Alaska v. United States, a constitutional challenge to Section 5, and as amicus curiae counsel for briefs filed on behalf of Alaska Natives in Shelby County v. Holder and Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, constitutional challenges to Section 5.


In 2006, Jim led legislative efforts by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) to secure the twenty-five year reauthorization of the VRA, testifying three times in the congressional hearings on the reauthorization bill. 


From 2002 until 2008, Jim taught undergraduate honors seminars on constitutional and civil rights law at the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University.  He directed two projects supporting the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA including a comprehensive nationwide survey of over 800 jurisdictions covered by the VRA’s language assistance provisions, which was included in the congressional record. 


Jim has several publications on voting rights law.  His book entitled The Battle over Bilingual Ballots: Language Minorities and Political Access under the Voting Rights Act (2009), offers the most comprehensive treatment of the VRA’s language assistance provisions.  He also has published four book chapters and about two dozen law review articles, including many on voting rights, redistricting, and language access.


Jim clerked for Chief United States District Judge Maurice Paul in the Northern District of Florida from 1994-97, where he worked on voting cases including Johnson v. Mortham, a racial gerrymandering challenge to Florida’s Third Congressional District. 


Jim holds Doctor of the Science of Laws (S.J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, Order of the Coif, from the University of Florida, a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in history from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University.