Following ratification of the 15th Amendment in 1860, many states used poll taxes, literacy tests, and other means to prevent newly freed African Americans and other minorities from voting. A century later, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 provided a variety of ways for the federal government and the federal courts to ensure that the right to vote was not denied on the basis of race.
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Congress’ formula for determining which states needed federal approval for election law changes. After the Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, more than 18 states made changes to their election procedures. Many of those changes have been challenged, leading to a recent series of high-profile decisions in the federal courts.
Joining We the People to discuss voting rights are two leading experts on the front lines of the debate.Hans von Spakovsky is Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.Wendy Weiser is Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.
Attention, We the People listeners!
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This show was engineered by Jason Gregory and produced by Nicandro Iannacci. Research was provided by Josh Waimberg and Tom Donnelly. The host of We the People is Jeffrey Rosen. Many thanks and best wishes to Danieli Evans, who leaves the Center this month.
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