This volume explores the role race and racism played in the Texas redistricting process and the creation and passage of the state's Voter Identification Law in 2011. The author puts forth research techniques designed to uncover racism and racist intentions even in the face of denials by the public policy decision-makers involved. In addition to reviewing the redistricting history of the state, this book also provides an analysis of court decisions concerning the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and a thorough discussion of the Shelby County decision. The author brings together scholarly research and the analysis of significant Supreme Court decisions focusing on race to discuss Texas'election policy process. The core of the book centers on two federal court trials where both the state's congressional, and house redistricting efforts, and the Voter ID Bill were found to violate the Voting Rights Act. This is the first book that speaks specifically to the effects of electoral politics and Latinos. The author develops new ground in racial political studies calling for movement beyond the dual-race theoretical models that have been used by both the academy and the courts in looking at the effects of race on the public policy process. The author concludes that the historically tense race relations between Anglos and Latinos in Texas unavoidably affected both the redistricting process and the creation and design of the Voter ID Bill.
Language Assistance under the Voting Rights Act provides an interesting and unique approach to the problem of translating minority language ballots and evaluating the causes and effects of differences in the translated ballot language. As a whole, this book demonstrates the strong relationship between accessibility, state policy, and the role this has on participation among minority language voters, particularly in the area of direct democracy. This offers insight into the complex relationship that has evolved into the current state of governance across the United States, as well as how covered jurisdictions interact with federally mandated language assistance. By looking at this relationship from a variety of standpoints—including historical and policy analysis, interviews, and statistical analysis—this book shows a new perspective on the translation process and the implications for minority voters and their efficacy.
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) is a landmark federal law enacted in 1965 to remove race-based restrictions on voting. It is perhaps the country's most important voting rights law, with a history that dates to the Civil War. After that conflict ended, a number of constitutional amendments were adopted that addressed the particular circumstances of freed slaves, including the Fifteenth Amendment that guaranteed the right to vote for all U.S. citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” This book provides background information on the historical circumstances that led to the adoption of the VRA, a summary of its major provisions, and a brief discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) stands among the great achievements of American democracy. Originally adopted in 1965, the Act extended full political citizenship to African-American voters in the United States nearly 100 years after the Fifteenth Amendment first gave them the vote. While Section 2 of the VRA is a nationwide, permanent ban on discriminatory election practices, Section 5, which is set to expire in 2007, targets only certain parts of the country, requiring that legislative bodies in these areas—mostly southern states with a history of discriminatory practices—get permission from the federal government before they can implement any change that affects voting. In The Future of the Voting Rights Act, David Epstein, Rodolfo de la Garza, Sharyn O'Halloran, and Richard Pildes bring together leading historians, political scientists, and legal scholars to assess the role Section 5 should play in America's future.
Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) claim to advocate minority political interests, yet they disagree over the intent and scope of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), as well as the interpretation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Whereas the Court promotes color-blind policies, the CBC advocates race-based remedies. Setting this debate in the context of the history of black political thought, Rivers examines a series of high-profile districting cases, from Rodgers v. Lodge (1982) through NAMUDNO v. Holder (2009). She evaluates the competing approaches to racial equality and concludes, surprisingly, that an originalist, race-conscious interpretation of the 14th Amendment, along with a revised states' rights position regarding electoral districting, may better serve minority political interests.