The Center for Individual Rights is filing a lawsuit today, challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
This is the issue that the Supreme Court managed to duck last year, but with an opinion that left the door very much open to future challenges. Section 5 drives “covered jurisdictions” (mostly but not exclusively in the South) to use racial gerrymandering to ensure that there are as many black/Latino-majority districts as the Justice Department’s civil rights division thinks there should be. In other words — as this Bench Memos post explains — it (a) turns the colorblind ideal on its head by (b) using a disparate-impact test in (c) a very intrusive way to (d) segregate rather than integrate districts in (e) jurisdictions that are obsoletely defined.
So this is a ripe issue, and the even better news is that the particular lawsuit being filed today, involving Kinston, N.C., has a very favorable set of facts, as Hans discusses here. You can read more about the lawsuit on the Center for Individual Rights’s website, and we’ll be writing more about the case later this week. Kudos to CIR!