A Deference Theory of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act
39 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2013
Date Written: April 1, 2012
Although Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is one of the most documented topics in legal scholarship, the academy has missed a crucial reading: a statute with an administrative agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ), entitled to Chevron-style deference. Because the topic is virtually unexplored, this Note is the first to outline how we might understand a deference theory of the VRA. In addition to articulating the theoretical case and exploring the historical evidence of deference in the Supreme Court, this Note offers a descriptive/normative explanation for the Court’s current hostile relationship towards the DOJ on Section 5 voting rights issues, what I term 'anti-deference.' Such insights represent the tip of the iceberg for what a deference theory of the VRA might unearth.
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