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Unteachable: Shelby County, Canonical Apostasies, and a Way Forward for the Voting Rights Act

48 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2013 Last revised: 23 Oct 2014

Kareem U. Crayton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Terry Smith

DePaul College of Law

Date Written: March 31, 2014

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, which declared unconstitutional the coverage formula for Section 5 preclearance. We conclude that Shelby County is a radical departure not only from the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act jurisprudence but also from canons of statutory construction more generally. While the Court's decision has adverse implications for both separation of powers doctrine and minority voting rights, the authors propose an expeditious fix to the coverage formula that would likely pass constitutional muster.

Keywords: Voting Rights Act, Statutory Interpretation, Separation of Powers, federalism, civil rights

Suggested Citation

Crayton, Kareem U. and Smith, Terry, Unteachable: Shelby County, Canonical Apostasies, and a Way Forward for the Voting Rights Act (March 31, 2014). Southern Methodist University Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2361495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2361495

Kareem U. Crayton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Terry Smith (Contact Author)

DePaul College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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