John Powers serves as Counsel in the Voting Rights Project, where his work focuses on voting rights litigation and election protection efforts. John joined the Lawyers’ Committee in September 2015. While at the Lawyers’ Committee, he has been part of teams litigating challenges to redistricting plans, voter purges, burdensome registration deadlines, and “exact match” voter registration requirements.
Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, John worked for eight years in the Voting Section at the Department of Justice. Prior to the Shelby County decision, he reviewed submissions for preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. More recently, he was part of litigation teams challenging the Texas voter ID and North Carolina omnibus election laws in federal district court. While at DOJ, he received the AAG Distinguished Service Award and other awards for his work. He is licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
John attended law school at night while working at DOJ, receiving his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2013. He served as Executive Articles Editor for the Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives. He has been published in that journal, as well as The Georgetown Law Journal and the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. He earned his B.A. in History from Haverford College, and attended Mansfield College at Oxford University for a year.