May 2009: Tobin Project scholars write for "The American Prospect" on the Voting Rights Act

Members of the Tobin Project’s Institutions of Democracy working group collaborated with The American Prospect in May to produce a series of white papers and blog posts responding to the Supreme Court’s decision to decline to rule on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minorities from facing obstacles to voting.

Heather Gerken (Yale Law School) reviews the Supreme Court decision, highlighting its failures, and suggests that civil rights groups ought to be allowed to "opt-in" to the Voting Rights Act.

Stephen Ansolabehere (Harvard University, Government) and Nathaniel Persily (Columbia University, Law and Political Science) argue that, in order to understand the origin adn extent of voting discrimation, more electoral data is needed.

Bruce Cain (University of California-Berkeley, Political Science) and Daniel Tokaji (Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University) offer that “electoral impact statements” should be required of states with low participation rates in an effort to reduce practices that discourage voting among the poor and minority groups. 

Michael McDonald (George Mason University, Politics), suggests “proactive bailout,” in which the Department of Justice examines and decides which jurisdictions deserve federal scrutiny in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Richard Pildes (NYU School of Law) writes that Congress ought to issue national, universal protections of voting rights.

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Institutions of Democracy
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