The Law of Preclearance: Enforcing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in The Future of the Voting Rights Act (David L. Epstein et al. eds., 2006)
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) stands among the great achievements of American democracy. Originally adopted in 1965, the Act extended full political citizenship to African-American voters in the United States nearly 100 years after the Fifteenth Amendment first gave them the vote. While Section 2 of the VRA is a nationwide, permanent ban on discriminatory election practices, Section 5, which is set to expire in 2007, targets only certain parts of the country, requiring that legislative bodies in these areas—mostly southern states with a history of discriminatory practices—get permission from the federal government before they can implement any change that affects voting. In The Future of the Voting Rights Act, David Epstein, Rodolfo de la Garza, Sharyn O'Halloran, and Richard Pildes bring together leading historians, political scientists, and legal scholars to assess the role Section 5 should play in America's future. The contributors offer varied perspectives on the debate. Samuel Issacharoff questions whether Section 5 remains necessary, citing the now substantial presence of blacks in legislative positions and the increasingly partisan enforcement of the law by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Russell Sage Foundation
Civil Rights and Discrimination | Election Law | Law
J. P. McCrary, Christopher B. Seaman & Richard M. Valelly, The Law of Preclearance: Enforcing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in The Future of the Voting Rights Act (David L. Epstein et al. eds., 2006),