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News Posted on May 1, 2014

Professor Elmendorf Publishes Essay on Voting Rights Act in The New Republic

Professor Christopher S. Elmendorf has published an essay in The New Republic exploring the implications for the federal Voting Rights Act of the Supreme Court's latest affirmative action decision. Co-authored with University of Connecticut Law Professor Doug Spencer, the essay asserts that the Court's decision in Schuetter v. BAMN , although often seen as a setback for civil rights, actually boosts minority voting rights.

"Seemingly neutral political reforms that ‘target' and disadvantage a racial minority may be unconstitutional, even if they aren't motivated by an intent to harm minorities (or the bad intent can't be proved)," Elmendorf writes. "So too electoral arrangements that magnify the political effect of voter discrimination, if adopted ‘in circumstances [of] widespread racial discrimination.'"

Christopher S. Elmendorf is a Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law whose teaching and research interests include election law, administrative law, statutory interpretation, constitutional law, and property and natural resources law. 

Elmendorf essay: Last Week's Affirmative Action Setback Could Be a Boost to Voting Rights