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Celina Stewart

Celina Stewart
Senior Director of Advocacy and Litigation

Celina Stewart joined the League of Women Voters as Senior Director of Advocacy and Litigation in April 2018. In this role she develops and implements League political strategies and policy positions around election reform and voting rights issues; oversees prospective litigation for the national and state leagues; works closely with League grassroots staff in implementing national agenda; and serves as lead lobbyist and liaison with Congress and the Administration for the League.

Prior to joining the League, she was acting Chief Operating Officer and Director of Philanthropy at an electoral reform nonprofit where she split her time between managing a small, but mighty development team and managing the day-to-day operations of the organization. Celina’s experience also includes serving as a litigation consultant to several Am 100 law firms handling complex merger and acquisition transactions; legislative aide at the Michigan legislature handling the public interest portfolio for the House Tax Chair; and as Legal Counsel to the Minority Leader at the Georgia House of Representatives. As Legal Counsel, she assisted in developing and implementing the Caucus’s legislative agenda and was appointed to Reapportionment Counsel where she led a team of technical mappers and legal assistants to draw alternative redistricting maps in compliance with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Upon returning home to D.C. in 2012, she served as Director for the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s 21st Century program, where she oversaw all quarterly conferences and worked with corporate giants and Members of Congress to produce the Annual Report, a policy recommendation manual presented to the President of the United States.

Celina earned her J.D. from Western Michigan University Law School and her B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College. She currently serves on the Boards of the Bar Association of DC; the Women’s Bar Association of DC; the National Association of Advancement of Colored People (NAACP-DC); and was an American Bar Foundation Law Practice Fellow. Beyond her professional and social accolades, she is an avid foodie and wine tasting enthusiast.

 

After the Supreme Court's disappointing decision in the Rucho case this past June—failing to take a stand for voters and establish limits around when partisan gerrymandering goes too far—we promised we wouldn’t throw up our hands and just give up, but we’d roll up our sleeves and fight harder than ever.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 20th Century when it was established in 1965. However, Shelby County v. Holder, a landmark Supreme Court case decided on June 25, 2013, rocked the civil rights world when it gutted important sections of the VRA.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Department of Commerce v. New York, a case challenging the Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census short form. Learn more about the case here.

 On March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court heard three high-profile cases pertaining to gerrymandering, including Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

The LWVNC v. Rucho case is a partisan gerrymandering challenge to the North Carolina congressional map. Partisan gerrymandering is the practice of drawing electoral district lines in a way that discriminates against a political party.

The upcoming 116th Congress could make history with the first comprehensive package of democracy reforms scheduled for 2019, HR1. Since the announcement of HR1, LWVUS has been talking to folks on the Hill and working with partner organizations to help shape the bill’s language and ensure that voting rights are strengthened by this important legislation. 

After three days of hearings, this is what we’ve learned about Judge Kavanaugh’s record as it relates to our priority issues.

Shelby County v. Holder was a landmark case addressing the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Here's what's happened in the five years since the case was decided.

It is up to Congress to exercise oversight authority over the Census Bureau and  remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census.