“Shelby and Section 3: Pulling the Voting Rights Act’s Pocket Trigger to Protect Voting Rights after Shelby County v. Holder”

Paul Wiley has posted this draft student note on SSRN (forthcoming, Washington and Lee Law Review).  Here is the abstract:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder presents voting rights advocates with a difficult challenge: finding an effective substitute for the preclearance regime struck down by the Court. The best possible alternative may live within the Voting Rights Act itself in Section 3(c)’s “pocket trigger.” Section 3(c) permits a federal court to retain jurisdiction and preclear a jurisdiction’s changes to its voting procedures upon a finding of a constitutional violation. By relating more closely to current conditions in a specific locality, Section 3(c) preclearance avoids many of the problems the Court identified in NAMUDNO and Shelby County.

This Note analyzes the history of Voting Rights Act litigation and suggests a more expansive use of Section 3(c) preclearance to continue federal oversight of election procedures.



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