Kareem U. Crayton

Print This Page (PDF) Associate Professor of Law


  • J.D., Stanford University (2002)
  • Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford University (2002)
  • A.B., Government (magna cum laude), Harvard University (1995)

Professor Crayton is a innovative scholar whose work integrates law, politics and race. He is one of the very few academics with formal skills in law and political science whose work addresses the relationship between race and politics in representative institutions. The insights from Professor Crayton's research have distinguished him as a leading voice in the academy and in public institutions. His commentary, insight, and analysis regularly appear in major media outlets including The New York Times, PBS, and Fox News.

Professor Crayton's scholarship examines the varied effects of state-sanctioned racial exclusion and discrimination on campaign and governance in the political system. His publications employ a variety of research methods to examine ongoing controversies ranging from voter polarization, ballot measures, electoral campaigning, legislative caucus behavior, to partisan competition.

Before entering the legal academy, Professor Crayton served as a foreign law clerk to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo on the Constitutional Court for the Republic of South Africa and as a law clerk to Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He joined the Carolina Law faculty as an Associate Professor in 2010. 

Utilizing his research in the scholarly world, Professor Crayton has also aided in the development of election law and policy. Most recently, he led a group of academics who submitted a widely cited amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Shelby County v. Holder (a test of the temporary provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act). He was contributing amicus counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court for the Congressional Black Caucus in the Voting Rights Act lawsuit Bartlett v. Strickland as well as co-counsel to the Congressional Tri-Caucus (Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses) in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder, another seminal voting rights case. Professor Crayton has also developed an online educational tool called The Redistricting Game to increase public knowledge about the complex rules governing the redistricting process. He regularly consults with organizational and political actors around the country on state and local redistricting and voting rights matters.

Selected Publications

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  • Five Justices, Section 4 & Three Ways Forward (with Jane Junn), 9 DUKE J. OF CONST. LAW & PUB. POL. 113 (2014). [Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • The 1965 Voting Rights Act: Defeating Jim Crow, in TRIUMPHS AND TRAGEDIES OF THE MODERN CONGRESS (M. Angerholzer III, J. Kitfield, C. Lu and N. Ornstein, eds.) (2014). [JK1021 .T75 2014]
  • The Art of Racial Dissent: African American Political Discourse in the Age of Obama, 89 CHICAGO-KENT LAW REV. 689 (2014). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis]
  • Unteachable: Shelby County, Canonical Apostasies, and the Ways Forward for Voting Rights (with Terry Smith), 67 SMU L. REV. 3 (2014). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Amicus Brief of Political Science & Law Professors in U.S. Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder (argued, 2013).
  • Book Review (of THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT: CONTRASTING PERSPECTIVES ON THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT) (Daniel McCool, ed., 2012)), 34 AMER. REV. OF POL. 344 (2013). [KF4891 .M67 2012]
  • Sword, Shield & Compass: The Uses and Misuses of Racially Polarized Voting Studies in Voting Rights Enforcement, 64 RUTGERS L. REV. 973 (2012). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, Document Link (PDF)]
  • Reinventing Voting Rights Preclearance, 44 IND. L. REV. 201 (2010). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • The Changing Face of the Congressional Black Caucus, 19 S. CAL. INTERDISC. L.J. 473 (2010). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Amicus Brief of Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific Caucuses in U.S. Supreme Court case NAMUDNO v. Holder No. 08-322 (argued, 2009).
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