Voting Rights Debate: Key Questions from Oral Arguments in Shelby County v. Holder
March 12, 2013
In February of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case considering the constitutionality of the preclearance and coverage provisions of the Voting Rights Act. A few questions asked by the Justices may determine the Court's decision, which is expected by June. This panel featured a spirited debate over these key questions by top voting rights experts:
- Does the coverage formula violate an equal footing doctrine? Can Congress constitutionally “reverse engineer” a coverage formula to cover particular states?
- Can lawsuits effectively replace preclearance?
- Is preclearance a "racial entitlement”?
- Is Shelby County a proper plaintiff in light of Alabama’s record? Is a facial challenge appropriate?
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Panelists for Petitioners Shelby County:
Challenging provisions of the Voting Rights Act
Panelists for Respondents
Defending provisions of the Voting Rights Act
- J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director and Director of Litigation, Campaign Legal Center
- Dara Lindenbaum, Associate Counsel, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Spencer A. Overton, Professor of Law, Director of Political Law Studies Initiative, George Washington University Law School