May 31, 2007

Persily on "The Promises and Pitfalls of the New Voting Rights Act"

Nate Persily's must-read article on VRA renewal (forthcoming Yale L.J. October 2007) is now posted here on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    This article, forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, describes the legislative history surrounding the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and provides an interpretation of its key provision. The legislative process was unprecedented in many respects. Despite unanimous support for the law in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor, the Committee Report was submitted after passage of the legislation with only Republican signatures and with all Committee Democrats dissenting. The legislative history suggests the political parties' differing interpretations of the Act that only came to light once the President had signed the bill into law. This article concludes with an evaluation of potential interpretations of the new retrogression standard: that covered jurisdictions may not diminish the ability of minorities to elect their preferred candidates of choice.

Posted by Rick Hasen at May 31, 2007 09:08 AM