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Michigan Law Review

Election Law

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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 ...


Democracy And Dis-Appointment, Lani Guinier May 1995

Democracy And Dis-Appointment, Lani Guinier

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy


Ugly: An Inquiry Into The Problem Of Racial Gerrymandering Under The Voting Rights Act, Daniel D. Polsby, Robert D. Popper Dec 1993

Ugly: An Inquiry Into The Problem Of Racial Gerrymandering Under The Voting Rights Act, Daniel D. Polsby, Robert D. Popper

Michigan Law Review

In the discussion that follows, we focus on the case of congressional districting rather than on districting in general. Although we proceed in this manner for the sake of clarity, it is also true that no single, all-purpose normative theory of electoral mechanics will cover every case of democratic representation, from county commissions to mosquito control districts to sovereign legislatures. We do not claim that one can generalize our argument to every sort of election to which the VRA might apply. Yet we think our argument does approximate a theory of general application.


Expressive Harms, "Bizarre Districts," And Voting Rights: Evaluating Election-District Appearances After Shaw V. Reno, Richard H. Pildes, Richard G. Niemi Dec 1993

Expressive Harms, "Bizarre Districts," And Voting Rights: Evaluating Election-District Appearances After Shaw V. Reno, Richard H. Pildes, Richard G. Niemi

Michigan Law Review

This article attempts to define the constitutional principles that characterize Shaw and to suggest how those principles might be applied in a consistent, meaningful way. Part I, in which we argue that Shaw must be understood to rest on a distinctive conception of the kinds of harms against which the Constitution protects, is the theoretical heart of the article. We call these expressive harms, as opposed to more familiar, material harms. In Part II, we briefly survey the history of previous, largely unsuccessful, efforts in other legal contexts to give principled content to these kinds of harms in redistricting. Parts ...


Race And Redistricting: Drawing Constitutional Lines After Shaw V. Reno, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Samuel Isaacharoff Dec 1993

Race And Redistricting: Drawing Constitutional Lines After Shaw V. Reno, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Samuel Isaacharoff

Michigan Law Review

Shaw is no doubt a major opinion that attempts to define limits on the use of racial or ethnic classifications in electoral redistricting. The main thrust of this article is to assess the critical question of whether Shaw renders unconstitutional the type of race-conscious realignment of electoral configurations that have given meaning to the voting rights reforms of the past two decades. In making this assessment, we try to ascertain exactly how the Court has limited the use of race-conscious districting, and we try to determine whether there is any jurisprudential coherence to the Court's latest confrontation with the ...


Voting Rights Act Section 2: Racially Polarized Voting And The Minority Community's Representative Of Choice, Evelyn Elayne Shockley Feb 1991

Voting Rights Act Section 2: Racially Polarized Voting And The Minority Community's Representative Of Choice, Evelyn Elayne Shockley

Michigan Law Review

A much needed congressional effort to give substance to African-American suffrage resulted in the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the Act). Although the fifteenth amendment gave African-American men the right to vote in 1870, almost a hundred years later they were still largely unable to exercise the right. This condition did not result from apathy on the part of African-American voters, but rather from their inability to overcome barriers set up by white racists. Practices whites instituted, such as "[l]iteracy and 'understanding' tests, poll taxes, the white primary, intimidation, [and] violence," prevented African-Americans from realizing their ...


Applying Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act To Single-Member Offices, Edward J. Sebold Jun 1990

Applying Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act To Single-Member Offices, Edward J. Sebold

Michigan Law Review

This Note questions whether an exemption for single-member offices is justified. Part I provides a brief overview of the Voting Rights Act and the types of discrimination in the political process to which it applies., Part I then reviews the decisions on single-member offices, including the courts' attempts to define single-member offices. This Part concludes neither Congress nor the Supreme Court dictates an exemption for single-member offices. Instead, single-member offices should be open to challenge if they hamper the achievement of section 2's goals. Part II identifies the goals of section 2 by developing a number of theories to ...


Racial Vote Dilution In Multimember Districts: The Constitutional Standard After Washington V. Davis, Michigan Law Review Mar 1978

Racial Vote Dilution In Multimember Districts: The Constitutional Standard After Washington V. Davis, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that the effect-oriented standard for multimember-district vote-dilution claims is unaffected by the Washington intent requirement. Part I outlines the manner in which multimember districts can dilute minority voting strength. After summarizing Washington's intent requirement, Part II surveys the post-Washington vote dilution cases and demonstrates that the applicability of the intent standard to vote dilution claims is uncertain. Part III first suggests two ways in which White and Washington may be reconciled. That section then argues that White is unaffected by the intent requirement because the standard for vote dilution fits within a fundamental interest analysis ...


Proportional Representation By Race: The Constitutionality Of Benign Racial Redistricting, Michigan Law Review Jan 1976

Proportional Representation By Race: The Constitutionality Of Benign Racial Redistricting, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

Wilson raises two questions that are basic to the use of "benign" racial classifications in drawing legislative districts. First, is there a constitutional right to proportional representation and, second, if there is no such right, are there circumstances under which a scheme devised to provide proportional representation is constitutionally permissible. This Note will demonstrate that, while the Supreme Court recognizes the constitutional right of each individual to participate on an equal basis in the community's political process and to enjoy an undiluted vote, it denies any constitutional right of groups to proportional political representation. It will then show that ...


Effective Representation And Multimember Districts, Michigan Law Review Aug 1970

Effective Representation And Multimember Districts, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court has not decided a case involving an assertion of the claim that a multimember district denies the right of effective representation since Fortson and Burns. However, there have been several subsequent challenges in lower courts to the validity of such districts, and these challenges have generally failed because the factual evidence did not demonstrate conclusively that the voting strength of a legally cognizable racial or political element had been minimized or cancelled. In Chavis v. Whitcomb, however, a three-judge federal district court in Indiana found that the plaintiff had presented sufficient factual evidence to sustain his claim ...