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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2101455
 
 

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Democrats at DOJ: Why Partisan Use of the Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All


Ellen D. Katz


University of Michigan Law School

July 5, 2012

Stanford Law & Policy Review, Forthcoming
U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 280

Abstract:     
Partisan use of the Voting Rights Act has long been viewed as distasteful and destructive. This short Essay challenges that view, arguing that VRA claims pursued for partisan advantage can facilitate the statute’s operation in productive ways, at least when the claims at issue are subject to judicial review. The essay, moreover, posits that an unduly narrow conception of the VRA underlies much of the skepticism about partisan use of the statute. I argue that one of the VRA’s most critical, albeit overlooked, functions is its provision of a forum in which to resolve competing views about minority political participation in a majoritarian system. VRA claims seeking partisan advantage make use of this familiar, structured forum and productively highlight its operation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: Voting Rights Act, partisanship

JEL Classification: J70, J71, K10, K40, K41

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Date posted: July 6, 2012 ; Last revised: August 2, 2012

Suggested Citation

Katz, Ellen D., Democrats at DOJ: Why Partisan Use of the Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All (July 5, 2012). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Forthcoming; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 280. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2101455

Contact Information

Ellen Katz (Contact Author)
University of Michigan Law School ( email )
625 South State Street
LR 960
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-6241 (Phone)
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