NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Deuel Ross

Assistant Counsel

Deuel Ross serves as Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). In that capacity, Deuel uses litigation, public education and other advocacy strategies to ensure that Black people have equal access to the political process and to educational opportunities.

In the area of political participation, Deuel is lead counsel in Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Merrill, an ongoing Voting Rights Act lawsuit that challenges Alabama’s racially discriminatory voter photo ID law. He was a member of the trial team and has co-authored the appellate briefs in Veasey v. Perry, the successful challenge to Texas’s unconstitutional photo ID law. Deuel has also represented Black voters in amicus briefs and via public advocacy, including successful challenges to an unconstitutional election system in the City of Florissant, Mo. and the Arkansas photo ID law.

In addition, Deuel represents Black students and parents in various ongoing school desegregation cases, including Thomas v. St. Martin Parish, La. School Board, the landmark Sheff v. O’Neill case in Hartford, Ct. and other cases. Deuel recently presented oral arguments before a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Banks v. St. James Parish, La. School Board, an appeal that seeks to hold charter schools accountable to existing school desegregation orders.

Deuel is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he teaches a seminar course on the Voting Rights Act. He regularly speaks to national and local media (print, TV and radio) and at public events, law schools, and on panels. His articles and commentary on civil rights issues have been published in the New York Times, law reviews, blogs and other media.

Before LDF, he spent two years at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as an LDF/Fried Frank Fellow working on complex commercial and civil rights litigation. At Fried Frank, he worked on amicus briefs for Shelby County v. Holder and Arizona Inter Tribal Council v. Arizona in the U.S. Supreme Court and supported LDF’s litigation in Texas v. Holder and South Carolina v. United States. Deuel also previously clerked for Judge Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and worked as a Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program, where he litigated various matters across the country.

Deuel received his B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was an Executive Editor for the Journal of Law and Social Change and studied public policy at Wharton.