Magazine April 2, 2012, Issue

The Demise of Section 5

A now-irrelevant provision of the Voting Rights Act may soon be no more

Minority-voting-rights activists are all aflutter over the possibility that the Supreme Court will soon hold an important section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional — or at least in need of drastic modification. Section 5 is the provision whose life may be on the line. It gives federal authorities the power to veto proposed new methods of voting in what are called “covered jurisdictions” — almost all of them in the South — if they see them as racially suspect. That constitutionally extraordinary power may not survive a new round of close judicial scrutiny — although the Court’s view

To Read the Full Story
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

Articles

Politics & Policy

Past The Pump

Driven by new technologies and discoveries — and by rising global demand — America’s recoverable reserves of crude oil are soaring. And U.S. oil production would be soaring, too, were ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Saving Sovereignty

American progressives from Woodrow Wilson and John Dewey to Barack Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have long expressed dissatisfaction with what they see as the constraints of an outmoded 18th-century ...
Politics & Policy

Worth a Kingdom

The English don’t mind if their king has a mistress provided she is what they call “a good sort.” This can mean English, a daughter of the people, and happy-go-lucky, ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

A War in Photos Reading John Derbyshire’s story “O Valiant Hearts” (March 5) on the significance of his father’s picture with Private David Seaton, I was reminded of a picture from ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Newt Gingrich has a flair for the dramatic, except when the stage directions read “Exit stage right.” ‐ Many Republicans have bought the Democratic/media line that the administration’s attack on ...
Athwart

Olive Garden State

The Internet has made it so easy to make fun of nice little old ladies. Kids today have no idea how much effort it used to take. In the old ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WHAT’S REALLY WRONG Admit it: what disturbs you isn’t flaws within the grand design, not that or this ironic fealty to effect and cause within the cosmic lottery. Dismiss the phony, brief, and adolescent shock at ...
Happy Warrior

Bringing It Home

A year or two back, I started using the city of Bangalore as an all-purpose shorthand for emerging economies. If you’ve heard me on air or in person, you’ll know ...

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