Magazine June 22, 2009, Issue

Integration Now

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., 2018 (Erin Schaff/Reuters)
The Supreme Court should scrap an antiquated and unconstitutional rule

In the summer of 2006, with hardly a dissenting vote, Congress extended and strengthened the most radical provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act for a quarter century. That provision — Section 5 — was originally supposed to expire in 1970. In 1965, it was considered too constitutionally doubtful to be given a longer life. Forty-four years later, it is still going strong, having been repeatedly extended.

The ink was barely dry on the 2006 amendments when a tiny Texas utility district challenged their constitutionality. Section 5, the district argued in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (“NAMUDNO”),

Abigail Thernstrom, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, is the author of Voting Rights — and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections, which has just been published by the AEI Press. She is also the co-author, with Stephan Thernstrom, of America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


How It Was

A review of Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, by Richard Brookhiser.

The Other O’Connor

There was another Catholic novelist named O’Connor at work in the Fifties and Sixties, and for a time he was both better known and vastly more popular.