Thursday, January 16, 2014
Shelby County's impact on voting rights policy will likely be 'deeply destabilizing,' argue Profs. Charles and Fuentes-Rohwer
In State's Rights, Last Rites, and Voting Rights, Professors Guy-Uriel E. Charles and Luis E. Fuentes-Rohwer examine the likely consequences of the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder striking down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Here's the abstract:
There are two ways to read the Court's decision in Shelby County, as a minimalist decision and as a decision that has undermined the basic infrastructure of voting rights policy, law, and jurisprudence. In this Essay, we present the case for reading Shelby County as deeply destabilizing. We argue that Shelby County has undermined three assumptions that are foundational to voting rights policy, law, and jurisprudence. First, the Court has generally granted primacy of the federal government over the states. Second, the Court has deferred to Congress particularly where Congress is regulating at the intersection of race and voting. Third, the Court and Congress have understood that racial discrimination is the problem and have operated from a similar conception of what racial discrimination means. Shelby County undermines all three assumptions. We explore what this means for voting rights policy, law, and jurisprudence going forward.
CRL&P related posts:
- Plaintiffs in voting rights lawsuits will have procedurally and substantively less protection under § 2 of VRA, writes Professor Stephanopoulos
- Responses to civil rights problems: universalistic, particularistic, or both?
- Voting Rights Disclosure
- Does § 2 of the 14th Amendment impact analysis of VRA's preclearance requirement?
- Race or Party? How Courts Should Think About Republican Efforts to Make it Harder to Vote in North Carolina and Elsewhere