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A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Cody S. Barnett, Joshua A. Douglas Nov 2018

A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Cody S. Barnett, Joshua A. Douglas

William & Mary Law Review

Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court almost a decade ago and turned ninety-eight years old in April 2018. How should we remember his legacy on the Supreme Court? This Article places his legacy within his election law jurisprudence. Specifically, Justice Stevens provided a consistent theory, which we term “impartial governance,” that has had a lasting impact on the field. This theory undergirds Justice Stevens’s creation of the important Anderson-Burdick-Crawford balancing test that federal courts use to construe the constitutionality of laws that impact the right to vote, such as voter ID laws. It is part of ...


State Court Litigation: The New Front In The War Against Partisan Gerrymandering, Charlie Stewart Jun 2018

State Court Litigation: The New Front In The War Against Partisan Gerrymandering, Charlie Stewart

Michigan Law Review Online

Partisan gerrymandering is the process of drafting state and congressional districts in a manner that gives one political party an advantage over another. The end goal is simple: help your party win more seats or protect existing ones. The tactic is as old as the United States. In 1788, Patrick Henry convinced the Virginia state legislature to draw the 5th Congressional District to pit his rival James Madison against James Monroe. The term “gerrymander” itself is a hybrid: in 1810, democratic Governor Gerry signed a partisan redistricting plan into law—one that contained a district that infamously looked like a ...


Gerrymandering And The Constitutional Norm Against Government Partisanship, Michael S. Kang Dec 2017

Gerrymandering And The Constitutional Norm Against Government Partisanship, Michael S. Kang

Michigan Law Review

This Article challenges the basic premise in the law of gerrymandering that partisanship is a constitutional government purpose at all. The central problem, Justice Scalia once explained in Vieth v. Jubilerer, is that partisan gerrymandering becomes unconstitutional only when it “has gone too far,” giving rise to the intractable inquiry into “how much is too much.” But the premise that partisanship is an ordinary and lawful purpose, articulated confidently as settled law and widely understood as such, is largely wrong as constitutional doctrine. The Article surveys constitutional law to demonstrate the vitality of an important, if implicit norm against government ...


Election Law Federalism, Justin Weinstein-Tull Feb 2016

Election Law Federalism, Justin Weinstein-Tull

Michigan Law Review

This Article provides the first comprehensive account of non-Voting Rights Act federal voting laws. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act—long the most effective voting rights law in American history—was disabled by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is in the crosshairs. As the Supreme Court becomes more hostile to race-based antidiscrimination laws like the Voting Rights Act, Congress will turn to race-neutral, election administration-based reforms to strengthen the right to vote. Indeed, many proposals for reform post-Shelby County have taken this form. The federal laws this Article examines ...


Neutral Principles And Some Campaign Finance Problems, John O. Mcginnis Feb 2016

Neutral Principles And Some Campaign Finance Problems, John O. Mcginnis

William & Mary Law Review

This Article has both positive and normative objectives. As a positive matter, it shows that the Roberts Court’s campaign finance regulation jurisprudence can be best explained as a systematic effort to integrate that case law with the rest of the First Amendment, making the neutral principles refined in other social contexts govern this more politically salient one as well. It demonstrates that the typical Roberts Court majority in campaign finance cases follows precedent, doctrine, and traditional First Amendment theory, while the dissents tend to carve out exceptions at each of these levels.

As a normative matter, it argues that ...


Backsliding: The United States Supreme Court, Shelby County V. Holder And The Dismantling Of Voting Rights Act Of 1965, Bridgette Baldwin Apr 2015

Backsliding: The United States Supreme Court, Shelby County V. Holder And The Dismantling Of Voting Rights Act Of 1965, Bridgette Baldwin

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


In All Fairness: Using Political Broadcast Access Doctrine To Tailor Public Campaign Fund Matching, Andrew V. Moshirnia, Aaron T. Dozeman Apr 2015

In All Fairness: Using Political Broadcast Access Doctrine To Tailor Public Campaign Fund Matching, Andrew V. Moshirnia, Aaron T. Dozeman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Recent United States Supreme Court decisions have undermined the viability of campaign public financing systems, a vital tool for fighting political corruption. First, Citizens United v. FEC allowed privately financed candidates and independent groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigning. Publicly financed candidates now risk being vastly outspent. Second, Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom PAC v. Bennett invalidated a proportional fund matching system whereby privately financed candidates’ or independent groups’ spending triggered funds to publicly funded candidates. These decisions effectuate a libertarian speech doctrine: all speakers, individual or corporate, must be absolutely unburdened. To comply with this ...


Paths Of Resistance To Our Imperial First Amendment, Bertrall L. Ross Ii Apr 2015

Paths Of Resistance To Our Imperial First Amendment, Bertrall L. Ross Ii

Michigan Law Review

In the campaign finance realm, we are in the age of the imperial First Amendment. Over the past nine years, litigants bringing First Amendment claims against campaign finance regulations have prevailed in every case in the Supreme Court. A conservative core of five justices has developed virtually categorical protections for campaign speech and has continued to expand those protections into domains that states once had the authority to regulate. As the First Amendment’s empire expands, other values give way. Four key cases from this era illustrate the reach of this imperial First Amendment. In Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc ...


Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman Jun 2013

Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman

Michigan Law Review

The central front in the battle over campaign finance laws is the definition of corruption. The Supreme Court has allowed restrictions on the giving and spending of money in connection with elections only when they serve to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption. The constitutionality of such laws, therefore, depends on how the Court defines corruption. Over the years, campaign finance cases have conceived of corruption in both broad and narrow terms, with the most recent cases defining it especially narrowly. While supporters and critics of campaign finance laws have argued for and against these different formulations, both sides ...


Citizens United And The Illusion Of Coherence, Richard L. Hasen Jan 2011

Citizens United And The Illusion Of Coherence, Richard L. Hasen

Michigan Law Review

The self-congratulatory tone of the majority and concurring opinions in last term's controversial Supreme Court blockbuster, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, extended beyond the trumpeting of an absolutist vision of the First Amendment that allows corporations to spend unlimited sums independently to support or oppose candidates for office. The triumphalism extended to the majority's view that it had imposed coherence on the unwieldy body of campaign finance jurisprudence by excising an "outlier" 1990 opinion, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which had upheld such corporate limits, and parts of a 2003 opinion, McConnell v. FEC, extending Austin ...


Causation Or Correlation? The Impact Of Lulac V. Clements On Section 2 Lawsuits In The Fifth Circuit, Elizabeth M. Ryan Feb 2009

Causation Or Correlation? The Impact Of Lulac V. Clements On Section 2 Lawsuits In The Fifth Circuit, Elizabeth M. Ryan

Michigan Law Review

Under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, illegal vote dilution exists when an electoral standard, practice, or procedure results in a denial or abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color Plaintiffs demonstrate vote dilution by introducing evidence regarding a variety of objective factors, including whether voting in the jurisdiction in question is polarized along racial lines. In 1993, the Fifth Circuit adopted a new standard for section 2 plaintiffs trying to prove racially polarized voting. The Fifth Circuit held that demonstrating a mere correlation between race and vote was insufficient to establish racially polarized ...


Ideological Endowment: The Staying Power Of The Electoral College And The Weaknesses Of The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, Daniel P. Rathbun Jan 2008

Ideological Endowment: The Staying Power Of The Electoral College And The Weaknesses Of The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, Daniel P. Rathbun

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The National Popular Vote (“NPV”) movement is designed to eliminate the federalist impact of the Electoral College without amending the Constitution. By fashioning an interstate compact to grant participating states’ electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, NPV proponents suppose they can induce states to forfeit their electoral “weights” and replace the current, federalist election process with a fully majoritarian one. But by leaving the Electoral College in place, the NPV movement is setting itself up for a double pushback: first, in the form of immediate legal resistance, and second, through states’ long-term involvement in a meaningfully ...


Let's Not Jump To Conclusions: Approaching Felon Disenfranchisement Challenges Under The Voting Rights Act, Thomas G. Varnum Jan 2008

Let's Not Jump To Conclusions: Approaching Felon Disenfranchisement Challenges Under The Voting Rights Act, Thomas G. Varnum

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 invalidates voting qualifications that deny the right to vote on account of race or color. This Article confronts a split among the federal appellate courts concerning whether felons may rely on Section 2 when challenging felon disenfranchisement laws. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allows felon disenfranchisement challenges under Section 2; however, the Second and Eleventh Circuits foresee unconstitutional consequences and thus do not. After discussing the background of voting rights jurisprudence, history of felon disenfranchisement laws, and evolution of Section 2, this Article identifies the points of contention among the ...


Cultural Compactness, Daniel R. Oritz Jan 2006

Cultural Compactness, Daniel R. Oritz

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The Supreme Court’s opinions in LULAC v. Perry, the Texas redistricting case, confounded expectation. While many believed that the Court would develop the law governing partisan gerrymandering in one direction or another, it did not. As exactly before, such claims are justiciable but there is no law to govern them. In other words, the courthouse doors are open, but until some plaintiff advances a novel theory persuasive to five justices, no claims will succeed. On the other hand, few expected the Court to make any major changes to doctrine under the Voting Rights Act and Shaw v. Reno. But ...


This Way To The Egress And Other Reflections On Partisan Gerrymandering Claims In Light Of Lulac V. Perry, Bernard Grofman Jan 2006

This Way To The Egress And Other Reflections On Partisan Gerrymandering Claims In Light Of Lulac V. Perry, Bernard Grofman

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

After winning control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship, Texas Republicans eventually succeeded in redistricting Texas’s congressional seats in 2003, replacing a 2001 court-drawn plan. LULAC v. Perry reviewed a number of challenges to that second redistricting. The decision deals with a multiplicity of issues, including, most importantly, the standard for violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the nature of tests for unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. While there are some clear holdings in the case, several of them reflect different combinations of Justices in the majority and, since there are six different opinions ...


Anthony Kennedy's Blind Quest, Scot Powe, Steve Bickerstaff Jan 2006

Anthony Kennedy's Blind Quest, Scot Powe, Steve Bickerstaff

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

League of United Latin American Citizens [LULAC] v. Perry embraced, in the context of partisan gerrymandering, Felix Frankfurter’s conclusion that the Supreme Court should not enter the political thicket of legislative apportionment. Two years earlier in Vieth v. Jubelirer, the Court split 4–1–4 on the justiciability of partisan gerrymandering. O’Conner and the three conservatives held it was nonjusticiable. Each of the four moderate liberals offered a test showing it was justiciable. Kennedy dissented from the conservatives while simultaneously rejecting each of the four tests offered. He announced he was waiting for a better test. When far ...


Lulac On Partisan Gerrymandering: Some Clarity, More Uncertainty, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Lulac On Partisan Gerrymandering: Some Clarity, More Uncertainty, Richard Briffault

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In League of United Latin American Citizens (“LULAC”) v. Perry, the Supreme Court, for the second time in two years, agonized over partisan gerrymandering. LULAC’s rejection of a Democratic challenge to the Texas legislature’s mid-decade pro-Republican congressional redistricting resembles the Court’s 2004 dismissal of a Democratic gerrymandering suit against Pennsylvania’s pro-Republican congressional redistricting plan in Vieth v. Jubelirer. As in Vieth, the Justices wrangled over justiciability, the substantive standard for assessing the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering claims, and the interplay of justiciability and constitutionality. As in Vieth, the Court was highly fragmented: Vieth produced five separate ...


Self-Defeating Minimalism, Adam B. Cox Jan 2006

Self-Defeating Minimalism, Adam B. Cox

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Everyone wants a piece of Tom DeLay. The former majority leader is under investigation and indictment, and even the Supreme Court threatened last Term to undo one of his signal achievements. In 2003, DeLay orchestrated a highly unusual mid-decade revision of Texas’s congressional map. The revised map was a boon to Republicans, shifting the Texas congressional delegation from 15 Republicans and 17 Democrats to 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats. The map was attacked as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and a violation of the Voting Rights Act. When the Supreme Court agreed to hear those challenges in LULAC v. Perry ...


The End Of Preclearance As We Knew It: How The Supreme Court Transformed Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act, Peyton Mccrary, Christopher Seaman, Richard Valelly Jan 2006

The End Of Preclearance As We Knew It: How The Supreme Court Transformed Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act, Peyton Mccrary, Christopher Seaman, Richard Valelly

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article’s analysis reveals that by the 1990s the intent, or purpose, prong of Section 5 had become the dominant basis for objections to discriminatory voting changes. During that decade an astonishing 43 percent of all objections were, according to this assessment, based on discriminatory purpose alone. Thus, a key issue for Congress in determining how to deal with the preclearance requirement of the Act due to expire in 2007-assuming it seeks to restore the protection of minority voting rights that existed before January 2000-is whether to revise the language of Section 5 so as to restore the long-accepted ...


Strict In Theory, Loopy In Fact, Nathaniel Persily Jan 2006

Strict In Theory, Loopy In Fact, Nathaniel Persily

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Most Supreme Court-watchers find the decision in LULAC v. Perry notable for the ground it breaks concerning Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the ground it refuses to break on the topic of partisan gerrymandering. I tend to think the Court’s patchwork application of Section 2 to strike down a district on vote dilution grounds is not all that dramatic, nor is its resolution of the partisan gerrymandering claims all that surprising. The truly unprecedented development in the case for me was Justice Scalia’s vote to uphold what he considered a racial classification under the Equal ...


Judging The Law Of Politics, Guy-Uriel Charles May 2005

Judging The Law Of Politics, Guy-Uriel Charles

Michigan Law Review

Election law scholars are currently engaged in a vigorous debate regarding the wisdom of judicial supervision of democratic politics. Ever since the Court's 1962 decision in Baker v. Carr, the Court has increasingly supervised a dizzying array of election-related matters. These include the regulation of political parties, access to electoral ballots, partisanship in electoral institutions, the role of race in the design of electoral structures, campaign financing, and the justifications for limiting the franchise. In particular, and as a consequence of the Court's involvement in the 2000 presidential elections in Bush v. Gore, a central task of election ...


After Georgia V. Ashcroft: The Primacy Of Proportionality, Felix B. Chang Jan 2005

After Georgia V. Ashcroft: The Primacy Of Proportionality, Felix B. Chang

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Note argues that the majority in Ashcroft have left courts with an unadministerable standard-not so much for reasons that Justice Souter articulated in his dissent, but rather because the Court provided no guidance on navigating around the myriad of factors in the convoluted totality analyses. In the face of this uncertainty, lower courts will rely increasingly on the proportionality standard of Johnson v. De Grandy, which marked the midpoint in the judicial shift from Justice Brennan's worldview to Justice O'Connor's world-view. Part I examines two cases after Ashcroft which represent different degrees of racial vote dilution ...


Easing The Spring: Strict Scrutiny And Affirmative Action After The Redistricting Cases, Pamela S. Karlan Mar 2002

Easing The Spring: Strict Scrutiny And Affirmative Action After The Redistricting Cases, Pamela S. Karlan

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Lowering The Preclearance Hurdle Reno V. Bossier Parish School Board, 120 S. Ct. 866 (2000), Alaina C. Beverly Jan 2000

Lowering The Preclearance Hurdle Reno V. Bossier Parish School Board, 120 S. Ct. 866 (2000), Alaina C. Beverly

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Case Note examines a recent Supreme Court decision that collapses the purpose and effect prongs of Section 5, effectively lowering the barrier to preclearance for covered jurisdictions. In Reno v. Bossier Parish School Board II the Court determined that Section 5 disallows only voting plans that are enacted with a retrogressive purpose (i.e., with the purpose to "worsen" the position of minority voters). The Court held that Section 5 does not prohibit preclearance of a plan enacted with a discriminatory purpose but without a retrogressive effect. Evidence of a Section 2 violation alone will not be enough to ...


Sense And Nonsense: Standing In The Racial Districting Cases As A Window On The Supreme Court's View Of The Right To Vote, Judith Reed Jan 1999

Sense And Nonsense: Standing In The Racial Districting Cases As A Window On The Supreme Court's View Of The Right To Vote, Judith Reed

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Congressional redistricting draws the lines within which battles for political power will be fought. It is no surprise, therefore, that the redistricting process has long been the subject of social debate and legal dispute. The Supreme Court has not been able to resolve this dispute, in part, because the Justices have conflicting interpretations of the right to vote. While some Justices view voting as an individual right, others maintain that voting is correctly perceived as group right. This lack of consensus regarding the definition of the right to vote has led to a confusing articulation of the harm implicated by ...


The Three-Judge District Court In Voting Rights Litigation, Michael E. Solimine Oct 1996

The Three-Judge District Court In Voting Rights Litigation, Michael E. Solimine

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In recent Terms the Supreme Court has heard numerous appeals from the decisions of three-judge district courts in controversial Voting Rights Act cases as well as in challenges to congressional districts designed allegedly to facilitate the election of members of minority groups. Although the cases themselves have been followed closely, the institution of the three-judge district court itself has received relatively little attention, even though Congress passed legislation in 1976 that restricted the three-judge court's jurisdiction to reapportionment and certain Voting Rights Act cases. In this Article, Professor Solimine argues that numerous problems attend the formation and operation of ...


Identifying The Harm In Racial Gerrymandering Claims, Samuel Issacharoff, Thomas C. Goldstein Jan 1996

Identifying The Harm In Racial Gerrymandering Claims, Samuel Issacharoff, Thomas C. Goldstein

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article proceeds along two lines. First, it reviews the theories of harm set forth in the Justices' various opinions, i.e., the articulated risks to individual rights that may or may not be presented by racial gerrymandering. What is learned from this survey is that Shaw and its progeny serve different purposes for different members of the Court. Four members of the Shaw, Miller v. Johnson, and United States v. Hays majorities-Chief Justice Rehnquist, along with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas- are far more concerned with "race" than "gerrymandering." In particular, they consider all race-based government classifications to be ...


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 ...


Inside Campaign Finance: Myths And Realities, Michael R. Phillips May 1994

Inside Campaign Finance: Myths And Realities, Michael R. Phillips

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Inside Campaign Finance: Myths and Realities by Frank J. Sarauf


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 ...