Professor of Law
Gerald T. McLaughlin Fellow
- Constitutional Law
- Legislation and Regulation
- Law of the Political Process
- Criminal Procedure
- The Motives of Public Actors
- BA, magna cum laude, Harvard College
- MPA, magna cum laude, Harvard Kennedy School
- JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School
A nationally recognized scholar of constitutional law and the law of democracy, Professor Justin Levitt has returned to Loyola after serving from 2021-22 as the White House's first Senior Policy Advisor for Democracy and Voting Rights. There, within a team devoted to racial justice and equity, Levitt assisted the President in his efforts to make sure that every eligible American has secure, reliable access to a meaningful vote; to provide equitable representation in government; to restore trust in a democracy deserving of that trust; and to bolster avenues by which Americans build community and engage in civic participation.
Levitt had previously served in federal government as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. At DOJ, he primarily supported the Civil Rights Division’s work on voting rights and protections against employment discrimination (including federal statutory protections against workplace discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex -- including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity -- religion, national origin, citizenship status, and military service).
Levitt has published in the flagship law reviews at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, and William & Mary, the peer-reviewed Election Law Journal, and the flagship online law journals at Yale and NYU, among others. He has served as a visiting faculty member at the Yale Law School, at USC's Gould School of Law, and at Caltech. He was Loyola's Associate Dean for Research from 2017-20, and was honored to receive Loyola's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013-14 and 2019-20.
Levitt has been invited to testify before committees of the U.S. House and Senate, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, several state legislative bodies, and both federal and state courts. His research has been cited extensively in the media and the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He maintains the website All About Redistricting, tracking the process of state and federal redistricting around the country, including litigation.
Levitt served in various capacities for several presidential campaigns, including as the National Voter Protection Counsel in 2008, helping to run an effort ensuring that tens of millions of citizens could vote and have those votes counted. Before joining the faculty of Loyola Law School, he was counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, for five years. He also worked as in-house counsel to the country's largest independent voter registration and engagement operation, and at several nonprofit civil rights and civil liberties organizations.
At Loyola, Levitt established the Practitioner Moot Program, a complimentary service to the community allowing attorneys with pending appellate matters to practice their arguments before faculty experts and experienced advocates. Under the program, Loyola has hosted recent moots for cases later argued in the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, and the California Courts of Appeal, among others.
Levitt served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds a law degree and a masters degree in public administration from Harvard University, and was an articles editor for the Harvard Law Review. He is admitted to the bar in California, New York, and the District of Columbia, and to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, and Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.
- Problems of Public Purpose (in progress)
- Failed Elections and the Legislative Selection of Electors, 96 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1052 (2021)
- Citizenship and the Census, 119 Colum. L. Rev. 1355 (2019)
- Intent is Enough: Invidious Partisanship in Redistricting, 59 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1993 (2018)
- Quick and Dirty: The New Misreading of the Voting Rights Act, 43 Fl. St. U. L. Rev. 573 (2016)
- Electoral Integrity: The Confidence Game, 89 N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online 70 (2014)
- The Partisanship Spectrum, 55 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1787 (2014)
- Section 5 As Simulacrum, 123 Yale L. J. Online 151 (2013)
- Democracy on the High Wire: Citizen Commission Implementation of the Voting Rights Act, 46 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1041 (2013)
- Resolving Election Error: The Dynamic Assessment of Materiality, 54 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 83 (2012) (also edited for inclusion in Legal Workshop, Oct. 30, 2012)
- Election Deform: The Pursuit of Unwarranted Electoral Regulation, 11 Election L.J. 97 (2012)
- Confronting the Impact of Citizens United, 29 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 217 (2010)
- Long Lines at the Courthouse: Pre-Election Litigation of Election Day Burdens, 9 Election L.J. 19 (2010) (peer-reviewed)
- Taking the "Re" Out of Redistricting: State Constitutional Provisions on Redistricting Timing, 95 Geo. L.J. 1247 (2007) (with Michael P. McDonald)
Essays and Shorter Scholarship
- Nonsensus: Pretext and the Decennial Enumeration, 3 ACS Sup. Ct. Rev. 59 (2019)
- Race, Redistricting, and the Manufactured Conundrum, 50 Loyola L.A. L. Rev. 555 (2017)
- The Role of State Attorneys General in Federal and State Redistricting in 2020 (2017) (with James E. Tierney)
- Voter Identification in the Courts, in The Book of the States (Council of State Governments 2015)
- “Fixing That”: Lines at the Polling Place, 28 J.L. Pol. 465 (2013)
- You’re Gonna Need a Thicker Veil, 65 Fla. L. Rev. F. (2013)
- The New Wave of Election Regulation: Burden without Benefit, 6 Advance 39 (2012)
- Fault and the Murkowski Voter: A Reply to Flanders, 28 Alaska L. Rev. 41 (2011)
- Weighing the Potential of Citizen Redistricting, 44 Loyola L.A. L. Rev. 513 (2011)
- Guarantee Clause, in Encyclopedia of the U.S. Constitution (David Schultz ed., 2009)
- Seeing Double Voting: An Extension of the Birthday Problem, 7 Election L.J. 111 (2008) (with Michael P. McDonald) (peer-reviewed)
- Developments in the Law—International Criminal Law (pt. 2): The Promises of International Prosecution, 114 Harv. L. Rev. 1957 (2001)
Monographs and Book Chapters
- Quick and Dirty: The New Misreading of the Voting Rights Act, in America Votes! A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights (Benjamin E. Griffith ed., 3d ed. 2016)
- LULAC v. Perry: The Frumious Gerry-Mander, Rampant, in Election Law Stories (Foundation Press, 2016)
- Novel (and Not-so-Novel) Alternatives to Legislative Redistricting, in America Votes! A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights (Benjamin E. Griffith ed., 2d ed. 2012)
- Redistricting and the West: The Legal Context, in Redistricting and Reapportionment in the West (Gary F. Moncrief ed., 2011)
- A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting (2d ed., Brennan Center for Justice 2010)
- How Data is [sic] Used by Advocates, in Data for Democracy (Paul Gronke & Michael Caudell-Feagan eds., 2008)
- A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting (1st ed., Brennan Center for Justice 2008)
- The Truth About Voter Fraud (Brennan Center for Justice 2007)
- Introduction, in Making Every Vote Count: Federal Election Legislation in the States (Andrew Rachlin ed., 2006)
- Making the List: Database Matching and Verification Processes for Voter Registration (Brennan Center for Justice 2006) (with Wendy R. Weiser and Ana Muñoz)
In the News
Levitt has been invited to testify as an expert on election law before committees of the U.S. House and Senate (statements here, here, here, here, and here); the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (here, here, and here); federal and state courts; state legislative bodies in Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin; and local bodies in Los Angeles County and Dallas.
Levitt has also appeared in film, TV (domestic and international), radio, and podcast, and has been quoted as an election law and redistricting expert by numerous newspapers, magazines, and news services, including the Associated Press, Reuters, New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, New Yorker, USA Today, The Hill, The Nation, Politico, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Houston Chronicle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Palm Beach Post, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and St. Petersburg Times.
Levitt has also published many shorter opinion pieces, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, SCOTUSblog, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, Pacific Standard, and the Huffington Post; he has also been a regular contributor to Summary Judgments, the Election Law Blog, the ACSblog, and the Brennan Center for Justice blog.
Levitt serves as a faculty advisor for the Loyola chapter of the American Constitution Society, and is an avid supporter of public interest work. He is an Advisor for the Course of Study in Law and the Political Process, and has served as the co-chair of Loyola's Faculty Workshops and as the faculty advisor for the Loyola Law Review. In 2023, he is co-chairing the Search for Loyola's next Dean; he has also served on a previous Dean Search Committee, and on the Curriculum Committee and Instructional Technology Committee. Beyond Loyola, he regularly provides assistance to legislators and administrators from both major political parties, and has represented nonpartisan nonprofit organizations and officials and former officials from both major political parties and neither, and those whose partisan preference he does not know. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Fair Elections Center, and as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Los Angeles County Voting Systems Assessment Project.