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He Took On the Voting Rights Act and Won. Now He’s Taking On Harvard.

A former mayor of Poway, a small city in Southern California, wrote a column in August in his local newspaper with this headline: “A gun to my head.”

He was upset about how a state law had forced Poway to redo its voting districts so Latinos would have a better chance of winning elections.

Reading the piece on his computer 3,000 miles away, Edward Blum knew he had found his newest case.

Seeing one of his bêtes noires — racial gerrymandering — at work, Mr. Blum recruited the former mayor, Don Higginson, as a plaintiff, and on Oct. 4 filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the California Voting Rights Act.