JUNE 11, 2019 - Gerrymandering and Local Governance
1PM – 2PM
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: With the 2020 census approaching, states will soon begin the process of redrawing Congressional and state legislative districts. In many states, this process has become increasingly politicized and has led to gerrymandered districts. Because state legislatures often exercise broad control over cities and counties, gerrymandering has significant implications for local governance. Learn about the legal challenges that have been brought against gerrymandering and other efforts underway to reform the districting process.
Speaker: PAUL DILLER
Paul A. Diller is Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Government program at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon, where he has taught since 2005. Diller's professional work focuses on the legal structures, including federalism and gerrymandering, that constrain or empower local policymaking. Recent scholarship examines how local lawmaking can help remedy the urban disadvantage in representation at the federal and state levels. Other recent work addresses the unique potential of cities to spur regulatory change, particularly with respect to protecting the public health.
Putting his scholarship into action, Diller is a leading law professor in the national effort to preserve and promote local authority in the face of more frequent and aggressive preemption. In September 2017, Diller authored an amicus brief on behalf of several leading municipal organizations in a Supreme Court case challenging gerrymandering of state legislative districts. For several years, Diller worked on strategies to combat youth obesity with a nonprofit organization. In Oregon, Diller is an active participant in the legislative process, advocating for legislation that promotes the public health and economic fairness.
Diller clerked for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit after law school. From 2002-05, he was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he litigated constitutional, employment discrimination and Freedom-of-Information-Act cases, among others. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching baseball, skiing, drinking coffee, and spending time with his family.
Diller teaches State and Local Government, Property, Public Health Law, and other related courses.