The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 is often referred to as the most 

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 is often referred to as the most successful civil rights legislation ever enacted.  Explain the pre-clearance legislative mechanism that helped make the VRA so effective and then explain why the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder is said to be a serious threat to the Act’s continuing effectiveness.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 is often referred to as the most

Ideas to think about for the 481I Final Exam

1.       The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 is often referred to as the most successful civil rights legislation ever enacted.  Explain the pre-clearance legislative mechanism that helped make the VRA so effective and then explain why the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder is said to be a serious threat to the Act’s continuing effectiveness.

2.      Trace the development of the adjudicating the Voting Rights Act from the Supreme Court’s interpretation in City of Mobile v. Bolden through the congressional response in the 1982 amendments and then through the Supreme Court’s interpretation in Thornburg v. Gingles.

3.      The Supreme Court’s Thornburg v. Gingles decision specified three necessary pre-conditions for finding (among other matters) an at-large electoral system dilutes the voting rights of racial and/or language minorities covered by the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, Describe the pre-conditions and explain how they come together to operate as a causal test of whether an at-large system has a dilutive effect.

4.      Supreme Court and many other observers think partisan gerrymandering is an offense to democratic principles.

Also, How would you explain how they offend?

5.      The use of single-member districts means that a given vote percentage for a party seldom converts into a directly proportional percentage of party seats (e.g., 53 percent of the vote is not expect ed to lead to 53 percent of the seats).   First, explain (or at least describe) why that is so and, next, explain what complications that has for determining whether a partisan gerrymander has been enacted.

6.      First, review U.S. voting rights restrictions that ultimately had to be overcomes through constitutional amendments and the plausible reasons use  to justify them.  Offer two strong arguments against granting the right to vote to foreign nationals living in the United States legally (e.g., people holding a green card).  Next, offer your strongest rebuttal to those two arguments.  Finally, explain where you come out on the issue.

7.      Judge Posner wrote the Circuit Court opinion approving Indiana’s voter ID law; later, he essentially said he was wrong when he want ed his Court to reject a similar Wisconsin law.  Judges Stevens wrote the Supreme Court opinion approving the Indiana law.  Later he said his opinion was correct but maybe not right.  Finally, How would you explain these outstanding legal minds’ mixed personal reactions to their own written opinions?

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