“Gingles Unraveled: Hispanic Voting Cohesion in South Florida”

Nicholas Warren has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, North Carolina Civil Rights Law Review). Here is the abstract:

The Voting Rights Act protects the ability of racial and language minority groups to elect candidates of choice by prohibiting states and localities from diluting those groups’ votes when drawing electoral districts. The Fair Districts provisions of the Florida Constitution include a similar ban on vote dilution, plus further protections against diminishing (retrogressing) existing minority voting strength. A key element of proving vote dilution or retrogression is that the minority group votes cohesively. Historically, minority voting cohesion has often been uncontested or easily proven in VRA suits. But in South Florida, Hispanic citizens are voting less cohesively than they used to.

This Article investigates the legal issues that arise when the assumption of cohesion unravels. First, this Article investigates to what extent the Hispanic community in South Florida is cohesive. It then proposes several alternative approaches to the vote dilution and retrogression framework to better align doctrine with the real-world conditions of voters and communities.

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