Reinventing Voting Rights Preclearance

Kareem U. Crayton, Reinventing Voting Rights Preclearance, 44 Ind. L. Rev. 201 (2010).

Abstract:  The preclearance regime is a system by which the administration ensures that state and local jurisdictions, which have a history of government-ratified discrimination, abide by the Fifteenth Amendment. In 2006, due to the success of the regime in promoting political participation and office-holding for minorities, both houses of Congress agreed to reauthorize the regime for an additional twenty-five years. However, the question remains when, if ever, there will no longer be a need for the preclearance regime and how the government will be able to determine when that occurs.

The article offers suggested alterations to the regime that would provide a “clear, effective, and lasting means” of protecting voting rights. The alterations address both the goal of minimizing federal influence in this state-run area of policymaking and also insuring that these protections will be effective and lasting. Rather than only slightly adjusting the preclearance regime as has been done in previous legislation, the “reinvention” of the regime will prove much more rewarding. The suggested reform would place particular emphasis on setting goals, enhancing efficiencies and encouraging innovation.

To download a full version of the article, click here.

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