“Watch Out in the Covered Jurisdictions”

Mike Pitts has written this contribution to the Reuters voting rights symposium on the Shelby County case.  A snippet: “In contrast, on the local level, there could be widespread retrogression. This could come from redistricting plans that eliminate ‘safe’ districts, switches to at-large elections or annexations of white population by cities and towns that would reduce minority voters’ influence. The key reason these changes are likely is that if you look at the Justice Department’s pre-clearance enforcement over the past 30 years, what stands out is that a disproportionate number of pre-clearance denials involved vote dilution on the local level. If local jurisdictions are most likely to violate Section 5 now, they are far more likely to be emboldened when it’s killed.”


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