The United States recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This legislation was one of the most important victories of the Civil Rights Movement, and has been rightly credited as an important milestone on the path to racial equality in the American political system. That said, certain elements of the Voting Rights Act, notably Section 2, may clash with other values we hold in high esteem: specifically, political competition. Although the Court has not traditionally held political competition to be a paramount concern, it is nonetheless important. In this paper we consider whether the break-up of multimember municipal voting districts in the interest of avoiding vote dilution for underrepresented minorities had the unanticipated consequence of reducing political competition.
The complete article, “Competing Liberal Values: The Effects of VRA Sec. 2 Litigation on Electoral Competitiveness,” published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Law Journal for Social Justice and was co-authored by Matthew Manweller and George Hawley.