Kathryn Sadasivan

Kathryn is Assistant Counsel at LDF. Kathryn focuses primarily on LDF’s voting work, including Congressional, state legislative and local redistricting. Kathryn speaks to various national, state, and local non-partisan groups on race, voting and redistricting.

Kathryn is counsel in Milligan v. Merrill (Allen v. Milligan) and Robinson v. Ardoin, cases challenging the U.S. Congressional redistricting maps enacted by Alabama and Louisiana following the 2020 Census as violations of the Voting Rights Act and other applicable law. In Milligan, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a three-judge panel’s finding that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act claim and ordered the Alabama legislature to re-draw the state’s U.S. Congressional map to create two districts in which Black voters can elect candidates of their choice. In Robinson, a federal district court and two panels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their Section 2 claim.

Kathryn is lead counsel in McClure v. Jefferson County Commission, a lawsuit challenging the Jefferson County, Alabama Commission districts as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The lawsuit argues that the Commission violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by unnecessarily packing Black voters into two super majority-Black commission districts (with over 75% Black populations).

Since joining LDF, Kathryn has also worked in Texas to oppose Senate Bill 7 (later SB1) because of its harmful impact on Black and brown voters, including by burdening their access to ‘Souls to the Polls,’ and criminalizing various aspects of the political process. Kathryn is counsel in Houston Justice v. Abbott, a case challenging Texas SB 1, which continues to burden access to the franchise for Black voters by eliminating means and methods of voting Black voters used disproportionately in the 2020 general election.

Prior to joining LDF, Kathryn served as Counsel at Dēmos, where she litigated class action lawsuits in federal district and appellate courts on behalf of grassroots organizations led by Black and brown Americans. Kathryn’s docket at Dēmos included legal challenges to burdensome remote voting requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, unlawful voter roll purges, state voter registration practices in conflict with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the arbitrary disenfranchisement of individuals temporarily detained. Kathryn was previously a law fellow, and was later offered a Staff Attorney position, at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. At SPLC, she worked on legal challenges to the application of the felony murder doctrine to juveniles and the state’s statutory exclusion of certain juveniles from the juvenile justice system. Kathryn also engaged in extensive policy work centered on reforming Alabama laws that allow children to be charged and tried as adults in the criminal legal system. Kathryn’s work at SPLC included the Center’s Alabama voting rights efforts, including principally drafting an amicus brief on behalf of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and grassroots organizations in LDF’s challenge to Alabama’s discriminatory photo ID law. She also formerly served as a legal consultant to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Jerusalem and as a Litigation Fellow at LDF. Kathryn also served as co-counsel in a habeas petition on behalf of an individual detained at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kathryn holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from Tulane University. She is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia and Alabama. 

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