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Federal government

Civil Rights and Discrimination

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Race, Federalism, And Voting Rights, Guy-Uriel E. Charles, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer Jan 2015

Race, Federalism, And Voting Rights, Guy-Uriel E. Charles, Luis Fuentes-Rohwer

Faculty Scholarship

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Court struck down an important provision of the Voting Rights Act, section 4, on federalism grounds. The Court argued that Congress no longer had the power to enact section 4 because of the “federalism costs” imposed by the Act and because the Act violated "basic principles" of federalism. Unfortunately, the Court failed to articulate the costs to federalism imposed by the Act, much less conduct a cost-benefit analysis in order to determine whether the benefits of the Act outweighed its costs. Moreover, the Court failed to discuss whether the Reconstruction Amendments ought to matter ...