Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Keywords

Voting Rights Act, section 5, institutional intermediaries, Shelby County, discrimination

Subject Category

American Politics | Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Election Law | Law

Abstract

This Essay was written for the Yale Law Journal Online Symposium on the future of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act after Shelby County v. Holder. Professors Guy-Uriel E. Charles and Luis Fuentes-Rohwer argue that voting rights activists ought to be prepared for a future in which section 5 is not part of the landscape. If the Court strikes down section 5, an emerging ecosystem of private entities and organized interest groups of various stripes—what they call institutional intermediaries—may be willing and able to mimic the elements that made section 5 an effective regulatory device. As voting rights activists plot a post-Shelby County contingency strategy, they should both account for institutional intermediaries and think about the types of changes that could enhance the ability of these groups to better protect voting rights.