Nicholas Stephanopoulos, "The South After Shelby County"
In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court dismantled one of the two pillars of the Voting Rights Act: Section 5, which had barred southern jurisdictions from changing their election laws unless they first received federal approval. The burning question now is what will happen to minority representation in the South in the absence of Section 5. In this talk, Prof. Stephanopoulos explores the differences between the defunct Section 5 and Section 2 of the VRA, which continues to apply nationwide. His sobering conclusion is that Section 2 provides substantially less protection with respect to both redistricting and franchise restrictions. The demise of Section 5 is therefore likely to reverse decades of progress for voting rights in the South.
Nicholas Stephanopoulos is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on November 13, 2013.