December 10, 2005
"Staff Opinions Banned In Voting Rights Cases"
The Washington Post offers this extremely important report (too bad it is on page 3 on a Saturday in the newspaper). It begins: "The Justice Department has barred staff attorneys from offering recommendations in major Voting Rights Act cases, marking a significant change in the procedures meant to insulate such decisions from politics, congressional aides and current and former employees familiar with the issue said." The article follows up on this must read article in the Dallas Morning News. There is little question in my mind now that when Congress renews the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, it should consider ways to deal with the politicization at the DOJ. The solution that appeals to me the most at this point is making DOJ grants of preclearance appealable to a three-judge court. I also hope Congress will consider more novel ideas, such as Heather Gerken's proposal.