Deuel Ross

Deuel Ross is Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”). In that role, he uses litigation and advocacy to ensure equal access to educational opportunities and the political process for people of color.

Deuel argued before the United States Supreme Court and leads the team in Milligan v. Merrill, a Voting Rights Act challenge to Alabama’s discriminatory 2021 congressional map. Among other litigation and advocacy, he co-led trial teams that temporarily eased absentee voting restrictions in Alabama and South Carolina for the 2020 elections; led litigation that restored preclearance review to Jefferson County, Alabama, the state’s largest county; worked on the team that successfully challenged Texas’s voter ID law; and argued Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Merrill in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Deuel also represents students of color in school desegregation cases across the country. For example, he played a lead role in negotiating comprehensive, multi-year settlements in 2020 and 2022 with the State of Connecticut to resolve Sheff v. O’Neill, a landmark desegregation case; and led the successful defense of the Sheff settlement in federal court. Deuel also leads the team in Borel v. St. Martin Parish School Board, where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed a desegregation order entered after a trial; and he argued Banks v. St. James Parish School Board in the Fifth Circuit.  
Deuel has testified before Congress and appeared on television programs, including CBS News; NBC News; CNN; MSNBC; The ReidOut with Joy Reid; and All in with Chris Hayes. He has written law review articles and op-eds on voting and civil rights issues, including for the New York Times; and his commentary has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR news, Bloomberg Law, the Guardian, podcasts, and elsewhere. Deuel is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and New York University School of Law.  
Prior to joining LDF, Deuel was a law firm associate and Civil Rights – LDF Fellow at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; and a Karpatkin Fellow (attorney) at the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Southern California.

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