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Florida State University Law Professor Franita Tolson Named Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights

Professor Franita Tolson
Betty Jean Tucker Ferguson

Florida State University College of Law Professor Franita Tolson, an expert in election law, has been appointed the Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights. The professorship, which was created by an anonymous donor, honors Betty Jean Tucker Ferguson, a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner. Ferguson was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that resulted in district elections of county commissioners in Dade County, Florida. Following that, Ferguson was first elected to the Miami-Dade County Commission in 1993, serving three terms until she decided not to seek a fourth term in 2004.

In addition to election law, Tolson’s scholarship focuses on the areas of constitutional law, legal history and employment discrimination. Recently, she has written on the federalism implications of partisan gerrymandering and the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Her research has been published in leading law reviews and she has written for or served as a commentator for various media outlets. She teaches courses in constitutional law, election law, employment discrimination and the first amendment.

“I am very excited that such a prestigious college of law would establish a voting rights professorship and name it in my honor,” said Ferguson. “It gives me great hope and belief that voting rights will continue to be monitored at the state and federal level by brilliant legal minds.”

December 2012