► U.S. Judge Aleta Trauger of Nashville: One of the Good Gals Print E-mail

► U.S. Judge Aleta Trauger of Nashville: One of the Good Gals


The state of Tennessee provided Aleta Arthur Trauger with a law license in 1976 after she graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.


It should be noted that this isn’t the 1st award given to Judge Trauger. A prior award can be viewed by visiting the URL set forth at the end of this article.


In one matter, Judge Trauger was assigned to preside over a case involving Tennessee’s law regarding voter registration drives. Republican state legislators laughingly claimed that new requirements were required after a black voter group turned in thousands of registration forms, some of which were claimed to be duplicates and others that were missing mandatory information before the 2018 midterm election, thereby allegedly overburdening election officials.


During a hearing challenging the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters challenging the law, Judge Trauger made the following comments.

  • “If Tennessee is concerned that voter registration drives are being done incompetently, it can engage in public education efforts without relying on a complex and punitive regulatory scheme.”
  • “No one in this case disputes that it is crucial to the functioning of our system of government that county election commissions have resources proportionate to the scale and importance of their responsibilities.”
  • “But restricting voter registration drives in order to try to preserve election commission resources is like poisoning the soil in order to have an easier harvest.”
  • ‘There is no point in taking a step to preserve resources if, by doing so, one thoroughly compromises the reason that the resources were important in the first place.”
  • “[T]here is, on the current record, no basis for requiring that registration workers and volunteers receive mandatory government training prior to assisting with voter registration.”
  • “At least at this stage, there is no reason to believe that private training has been inadequate or that voter registration organizations would refuse to use training resources made available to them unless forced.”

Judge Trauger completed her comments by saying:

  • “Voter registration drives are a perfectly legitimate component of the voter registration system, under Tennessee law and under the Constitution.” she said
  • “A disclaimer that could be read to suggest otherwise would be a substantial burden without a corresponding benefit.”

It is abundantly clear that Judge Trauger will likely rule that this Tennessee law is unconstitutional given the verbal spanking she delivered to the state legislature and the governor.


Kudos to Judge Trauger for displaying the courage and fortitude to let the bigots in Tennessee’s legislature that outright discrimination disguised as protecting the vote will not be tolerated.


As we speak (ca. November 2019), Judge Trauger continues to sit as a Federal District Court judge in Nashville, Tennessee.


Federal Judge Aleta Trauger of Nashville; one of the good gals




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