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University of Michigan Law School

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Law and Politics

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Revolutions In Local Democracy? Neighborhood Councils And Broadening Inclusion In The Local Political Process, Matthew J. Parlow Sep 2010

Revolutions In Local Democracy? Neighborhood Councils And Broadening Inclusion In The Local Political Process, Matthew J. Parlow

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Political marginalization of minorities and government corruption are two key factors that have led to the overwhelming decline and decay of America's major cities. Local governments must combat the historical entrenchment of these two evils in order to reverse the trend toward demise. Neighborhood councils may be the best structural changes to local government because they provide more meaningful opportunities for political engagement of minority groups, while also serving as an antidote to systemic corruption in local government. This Essay analyzes the problems plaguing local government in urban cities and explores how neighborhood councils may be able to help ...


Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Reviving The Right To Vote, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Losers in partisan districting battles have long challenged the resulting districting plans under seemingly unrelated legal doctrines. They have filed lawsuits alleging malapportionment, racial gerrymandering, and racial vote dilution, and they periodically prevail. Many election law scholars worry about these lawsuits, claiming that they needlessly "racialize" fundamentally political disputes, distort important legal doctrines designed for other purposes, and provide an inadequate remedy for a fundamentally distinct electoral problem. I am not convinced. This Article argues that the application of distinct doctrines to invalidate or diminish what are indisputably partisan gerrymanders is not necessarily problematic, and that the practice may well ...


From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2006

From Laredo To Fort Worth: Race, Politics And The Texas Redistricting Case, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

LULAC v. Perry held that Texas violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act when it displaced nearly 100,000 Latino residents from a congressional district in Laredo to protect the Republican incumbent they refused to support. At the same time, the Justices let stand the dismantling of a so-called “coalition” district in Fort Worth where African-American voters comprising a minority of the district’s population allegedly enjoyed effective control in deciding the district’s representative. Only Justice Kennedy supported the outcome in both Laredo and Fort Worth. His opinion marks the first time that he, or indeed a majority ...


Vote Dilution And The Census Undercount: A State-By-State Remedy, Christopher M. Taylor Feb 1996

Vote Dilution And The Census Undercount: A State-By-State Remedy, Christopher M. Taylor

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that groups seeking to correct underrepresentation caused by the differential undercount do not have standing to sue the Secretary of Commerce but that they can sue their state governments in an effort to force them to use the best population data available in the construction of congressional districts. Part I details the deeply rooted character of the differential undercount, describes statistical means that could have been employed to adjust the 1990 census, and demonstrates that the adjusted count surpasses the official census as an accurate representation of the true population. Part II examines recent litigation that has ...


Can Minority Voting Rights Survive Miller V. Johnson, Laughlin Mcdonald Jan 1996

Can Minority Voting Rights Survive Miller V. Johnson, Laughlin Mcdonald

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Article reviews the congressional redistricting process in Georgia, particularly the State's efforts to comply with the Voting Rights Act and avoid the dilution of minority voting strength. Part II describes the plaintiffs' constitutional challenge and the State's asserted defenses, or more accurately its lack of asserted defenses. Part III argues that the decision of the majority rests upon wholly false assumptions about the colorblindness of the political process and the harm caused by remedial redistricting. Part IV notes the expansion in Miller of the cause of action first recognized in Shaw v. Reno. Part ...


The Empitness Of Majority Rule, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer Jan 1996

The Empitness Of Majority Rule, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In this Note, the author steers away from the current substantive debates surrounding the Voting Rights Act, its various amendments, and the "correct" way of interpreting its intended benefits and constitutionally accepted mandates. Instead, indirectly joins the many "radical" voices advocating for a departure from the majoritarian stranglehold-the decision-making process where fifty percent plus one of the voting population carry the election. The author does so not by suggesting yet another mechanism by which representatives may be elected, but by critiquing the perceived underpinnings of our democratic system of government. The author does not profess to delineate a definitive interpretation ...


The Distrust Of Politics, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1981

The Distrust Of Politics, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

In this Article, Dean Sandalow considers the justifications advanced by those who favor the removal of certain political issues from the political process by extending the reach of judicial review. He begins by examining the distrust of politics in a different context, discussing the proposals made by the Progressives for reforming municipal government, as a vehicle to expose the assumptions underlying the current debate. His comparison of the two historical settings reveals many similarities between the Progressives' reform proposals and the contemporary justiflcations.[or the displacement of politics with constitutional law. Dean Sandalow concludes that the distrust of politics rests ...


Community Control, Public Policy, And The Limits Of Law, David L. Kirp Jun 1970

Community Control, Public Policy, And The Limits Of Law, David L. Kirp

Michigan Law Review

This Article deals with those two points of conflict-disputes about governance, race, and political power; and constitutional concerns, rooted in Brown v. Board of Education, about racially heterogeneous education. Both are central to understanding, and to giving content to, the disagreements about community control. The questions about power provide a context within which to understand the terms of the debate. The constitutional discussion suggests some inevitable judicial difficulties in resolving disputes that emerge from the debate. Such questions are increasingly before the courts, whose decisions may alter the bounds of acceptable conduct in ways that permit or deny the legitimacy ...