Introduction to the Reports: Assessing Progress of the Voting Rights Act

Kareem U. Crayton, Introduction to the Reports: Assessing Progress of the Voting Rights Act, 17 Rev. L. & Soc. Justice 65 (2007).

Abstract:  This article concerns the “re-enactment” by Congress of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 and considers how state reports played a role in legislative debate concerning the Voting Rights Act. Comparisons between the two most recent renewal efforts by Congress revealed that in both cases, Congress paid particular attention to the judiciary’s misreadings of the Act and worked toward the purpose of correcting these misinterpretations.

In all the reports served significant functions as factual-accounts of state improvements stemming from the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, the reports served as a framework from which legislatures were able to valuate advances attributable to the Act. Finally, the reports documented the country’s progress in its efforts to ensure that racial minorities are not faced with obstacles in the voting process.

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