Voting rights--and wrongs: the elusive quest for racially fair elections
In Voting Rights-and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections, Abigail Thernstrom explores the complex issues raised by the Voting Rights Act today. Thernstrom celebrates the landmark 1965 law that opened southern voting booths to African Americans-while challenging its evolution into a tool to create a racially fair distribution of political power. Federal law now requires states to draw majority-minority legislative districts, giving minority voters a uniquely sheltered status. Color-conscious policies were morally justified when the only alternative was the perpetuation of all-white or overwhelmingly white legislatures. Today, such race-conscious districting may create less-rather than more-integrated politics.
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The Mess the Courts Have Made
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Abigail Thernstrom African Americans annexation argued Ashcroft ballots Barack Obama black candidates black legislators black voters blacks and Hispanics bloc voting Bossier chapter citizens Civil Rights Division Congress congressional districts constitutional constitutionality County Nov covered jurisdictions decision Democratic Department of Justice Deval Patrick discrimination disfranchisement district court district lines districting plan effect enforcement equal federal Fifteenth Amendment Fourteenth Amendment Georgia Gingles Hispanic Ibid Issacharoff Judge Judiciary Justice Department Latino legislative seats literacy tests LULAC majority majority-black majority-minority districts method of voting minority group minority voters North Carolina Obama percent Pildes plaintiffs polls population preclearance protection question race-conscious districting racial gerrymandering racially fair racism redistricting registration representation representatives Republican Resident retrogression right to vote safe black Scholar seats Shaw single-member districts South southern standard statute Supreme Court Texas Thernstrom tion turnout violation vote dilution Voting Rights Act voting section VRARA white voters