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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Beyond Indian Law: The Rehnquist Court’S Pursuit Of States’ Rights, Color-Blind Justice And Mainstream Values, David H. Getches Jan 2001

Beyond Indian Law: The Rehnquist Court’S Pursuit Of States’ Rights, Color-Blind Justice And Mainstream Values, David H. Getches

Articles

No abstract provided.


Indirect Constitutional Discourse: A Comment On Meese, Robert F. Nagel Jan 2000

Indirect Constitutional Discourse: A Comment On Meese, Robert F. Nagel

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 ...