Derek Muller and I spoke with Jeffrey Rosen for a National Constitution Center podcast:
On August 6, the Voting Rights Act will celebrate its 50th anniversary. First enacted in 1965 and extended in 1970, 1975 and 1982, it is considered one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. The Voting Rights Act codifies and enforces the 15th Amendment’s guarantee that no American citizen shall be denied the right to vote on account of race or color.
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Act in Shelby County v. Holder. That part of the law established a formula to determine which jurisdictions would be required to obtain federal approval for changes in their election laws. The Court ruled that the formula was unconstitutional in light of improved conditions in those previously covered areas.
In this post-Shelby County world, lawsuits challenging new election regulations have been filed in several states. In fact, as of July 2015, a trial is underway in North Carolina to determine whether a law passed less than two months after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision is a violation of the 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment or the Voting Rights Act.
Two superb scholars joined our Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the Voting Rights Act and the North Carolina case.
Rick Hasen is the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California-Irvine School of Law. He is an expert in election and campaign finance law, and is the author of the Election Law Blog.
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