“Making Sure Race is Considered”

Janai Nelson has written this contribution for the Reuters symposium on Shelby County: “Section 5, however, has changed the discourse around race in backrooms and in courtrooms by requiring that electoral decision-makers are not only aware of race but also are conscious of the racial impact of their actions and avoid racial harm. Indeed, Section 5’s anti-retrogression standard directs jurisdictions subject to oversight either to advance or, at minimum, protect minority voting rights. This framework also informs the voting rights discourse beyond Section 5 — suggesting that the only right direction to move on racial equality in elections is forward.”


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