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UT law professors offer opposing views on Voting Rights Act decision

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared the Voting Rights Act’s “preclearance” formula unconstitutional for not taking into account changing circumstances.

UT College of Law Professor Lee Strang said the Supreme Court was correct in its opinion that protects state autonomy and limited the power of Congress.

“The Court ruled that Congress could not limit state sovereignty by relying on 40-year old evidence of state wrongdoing,” Strang said. “Instead, because states retain the authority to regulate their own electoral practices, Congress must have better evidence of current state violations of voting rights to justify the Voting Rights Act’s restrictions.”

UT Associate Professor of Law Benjamin Davis said the Court’s decision is a setback oblivious to history and universal standards would be too watered down to protect the rights to vote of the week, the poor and the minority.

“As a matter of international law, meaningful participation in one’s governance as part of internal self-determination in a state is a human right. Voting is at the heart of that expression,” Davis said. “Similarly, elimination of racial discrimination through our narrow lens of diversity is also a human right. These are sad days of the United States turning back the clock.”

Contact Meghan Cunningham at 419.350.3879 to schedule an interview with Strang and/or Davis.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (June 26, 2013)


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