Vanderbilt Law Review


Franita Tolson

First Page



The legal landscape has changed significantly since Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ("VRA" or "the Act"). Even though Congress amended the Act in 2006, these amendments have done little to address the new obstacles faced by minority communities who seek to expand their electoral opportunities.' Some of these obstacles are political, as partisan forces have often manipulated the Act for electoral gain, but the greatest obstructions have been judicial. The Supreme Court has strongly implied that Congress might violate principles of federalism by requiring states to preclear their redistricting plans with the Department of Justice; has held that states are not required to maximize electoral opportunities for minority voters; and has deferred to the states in the face of conflicting federal and state statutory mandates over redistricting.

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Election Law Commons