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The 1965 Voting Rights Act: Some Wrongs Still Not Righted, Neal Devins Sep 2019

The 1965 Voting Rights Act: Some Wrongs Still Not Righted, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


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 ...


Section 2: The Court And The 2016 Election, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School Sep 2016

Section 2: The Court And The 2016 Election, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School

Supreme Court Preview

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Section 3: Election Law, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School Sep 2015

Section 3: Election Law, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School

Supreme Court Preview

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Justice Ginsburg's Umbrella, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Justice Ginsburg's Umbrella, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

Near the end of her dissent in Shelby County v. Holder, Justice Ginsburg suggested a simple analogy to illustrate why the regional protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) were still necessary. She wrote that “[t]hrowing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”


Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

This chapter examines efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment in the period from United States v. Reese through Shelby County v. Holder. Reese and Shelby County expose the most rigorous stance the Court has employed to review congressional efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, while the years in-between show Congress and the Court working more in tandem, at times displaying remarkable indifference to blatant violations of the Fifteenth Amendment, and elsewhere working cooperatively to help vindicate the Amendment’s promise. Defying simple explanation, this vacillation between cooperation and resistance captures the complex and deeply consequential way concerns about federal power ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

This panel has been asked to consider whether "the Constitution [is] responsible for electoral dysfunction."' My answer is no. The electoral process undeniably falls well short of our aspirations, but it strikes me that we should look to the Supreme Court for an accounting before blaming the Constitution for the deeply unsatisfactory condition in which we find ourselves.


Hollowed-Out Democracy, Kate Andrias Jan 2014

Hollowed-Out Democracy, Kate Andrias

Articles

Professors Joseph Fishkin’s and Heather Gerken’s essay for this symposium, The Two Trends That Matter for Party Politics, along with the larger project of which it is a part, marks a notable turn (or return) in the law-of-democracy field. Unlike much recent scholarship, Fishkin’s and Gerken’s work does not offer a comprehensive theory of corruption or equality, but instead analyzes the relationship between campaign finance law and the actual functioning of political parties in our democracy. In brief, Fishkin and Gerken tell us that our contemporary political parties are at once highly polarized and oddly weak ...


High Courts And Election Law Reform In The United States And India, Manoj Mate Dec 2013

High Courts And Election Law Reform In The United States And India, Manoj Mate

Manoj S. Mate

Over the past decade, the push for electoral reform in India and the United States – the world’s two largest democracies – has been promi- nent in the politics and governance of both nations. The supreme courts in each country have played important, but distinct, roles in recent electoral reform efforts, responding to different facets and regimes of political corruption. In the 1990s, the Indian Supreme Court became increasingly assertive in requiring greater levels of dis- closure and transparency for political parties in India. In a series of decisions in 2002 and 2003, the Indian Supreme Court challenged the Central Government ...


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 ...


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


Section 3: Election Law, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School Sep 2012

Section 3: Election Law, Institute Of Bill Of Rights Law At The William & Mary Law School

Supreme Court Preview

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Withdrawal: The Roberts Court And The Retreat From Election Law, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

Withdrawal: The Roberts Court And The Retreat From Election Law, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Last Term the Supreme Court handed down four decisions that upheld diverse efforts by state governments to regulate the electoral process. The Court turned back challenges to New York’s method for nominating judicial candidates, Washington’s modified blanket primary system, Indiana’s voter identification requirement, and Alabama’s use of gubernatorial appointment to fill county commission vacancies in Mobile County. Unlike other recent election decisions, these were not close cases. All nine Justices supported the New York holding, while supermajorities voted in favor of the result in the others. This consensus, moreover, emerged even as the Court voted to ...


From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

In his Dunwody Lecture, Professor Akhil Amar invites us to revisit the Bush v. Gore controversy and consider what went wrong. This short essay responds to Professor Amar by taking up his invitation and looking at the decision through a seemingly improbable lens, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder. Among its many surprises, NAMUDNO helps illuminate the Court’s fundamental error nine years ago. Professor Amar forcefully argues that the mistrust with which the Justices in the Bush v. Gore majority viewed the Florida Supreme Court ...


Barack Obama, Margarita Lopez Torres, And The Path To Nomination, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

Barack Obama, Margarita Lopez Torres, And The Path To Nomination, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Operating within these regimes, Obama was able to mount a credible--and ultimately successful--challenge to the leadership's choice for the nomination while Lopez Torres could not. This article offers an explanation why. It argues that Obama succeeded where Lopez Torres failed because the nomination process Obama traversed was more penetrable and more contestable than the one Lopez Torres faced.