“Return of the States”

Ruth Greenwood with a Star Wars-themed election law piece:

In the wake of Shelby County v Holder[1] and the hundreds of restrictions on voting rights passed by state legislatures in the last five years,[2] Ben Cady and Tom Glazer’s article, Voters Strike Back,[3] provides a timely and comprehensive review of the causes of action available for voter intimidation. It provides guidance to litigators on how to use these currently underutilized provisions to protect voters, at a time when their rights are under renewed attack. Cady and Glazer’s article provokes two questions—one normative and one practical. First, should the courts treat voter intimidation committed under color of state law in the same way as that committed by private actors? I posit the answer should be yes. And second, how can litigators encourage the courts to stop ignoring the clear language and legislative history of section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act?[4] The first step is to follow Cady and Glazer’s suggestion to only plead a section 11(b) violation, but litigators should also more clearly articulate the relevant language and history of that provision.

 

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