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The Congressional Black Caucus, Minority Voting Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court

Christina Rivers

Publication Year: 2012

Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) claim to advocate minority political interests, yet they disagree over the intent and scope of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), as well as the interpretation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Whereas the Court promotes color-blind policies, the CBC advocates race-based remedies. Setting this debate in the context of the history of black political thought, Rivers examines a series of high-profile districting cases, from Rodgers v. Lodge (1982) through NAMUDNO v. Holder (2009). She evaluates the competing approaches to racial equality and concludes, surprisingly, that an originalist, race-conscious interpretation of the 14th Amendment, along with a revised states' rights position regarding electoral districting, may better serve minority political interests.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) is one of the crowning achievements of the American civil rights movement. One of the most powerful catalysts of democracy in this country, it has amplified thousands of political voices that had long been muted by racial...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

In 1993, the Supreme Court held in the redistricting case of Shaw v. Reno that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment entitles all voters to a color-blind redistricting process. On its face, this decision is emblematic of the Court’s landmark decision in...

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1. Competing Approaches to Law and Voting Minority Rights

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pp. 17-33

The central premise of this book is that black voting rights and political representation are caught between conflicting approaches to the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act (VRA). These conflicts are illustrated by the contrast between the...

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2. Foundations of Black Political Activism: Pushing Idealist Boundaries

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pp. 34-63

This chapter offers an essential context for any analysis of contemporary African American politics and for this particular analysis of the approach taken by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the Fourteenth...

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3. The Congressional Black Caucus: Pushing Legislative Boundaries

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pp. 64-101

This chapter explores the position of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in the institutional battles over contemporary minority voting rights. The caucus extends in important ways the traditions and efforts of early African American political...

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4. The Congressional Black Caucus: Pushing Constitutional Boundaries

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pp. 102-125

Chapter 3 recounted the efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to strengthen the Voting Rights Act (VRA) against new and continuing electoral problems. In so doing, the CBC has also sought to buttress the act against what it perceives...

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5. The Supreme Court: Pushing Back

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pp. 126-149

Chapters 3 and 4 assess the position of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on the relationship of race, representation, and law through its legislative role in reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and as amicus curiae in key voting...

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6. Reconciling the Present with the Past

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pp. 150-167

This book has explored the cross ‹re between the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Supreme Court majority over the role of race in redistricting, representation, and law. This cross fire is triggered by institutional debates over...

Notes

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pp. 169-190

Bibliography

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pp. 191-202

Index

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pp. 203-213


E-ISBN-13: 9780472028214
E-ISBN-10: 0472028219
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472118106
Print-ISBN-10: 0472118102

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 2 maps, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Minorities -- Suffrage -- United States.
  • Congressional Black Caucus.
  • African Americans -- Suffrage.
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