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.
"It genuinely breaks new ground and should attract interest from voting rights scholars, scholars of race and politics, and public law scholars."
—Julie Novkov, University at Albany, SUNY
"The book's study of the CBC in light of the history of Black political thought makes an important contribution to the history of ideas, while providing a fresh perspective from which to assess contemporary voting rights jurisprudence."
—Nancy Maveety, Tulane University
"Christina Rivers provides a broad overview of American racial politics. Specifically, she demonstrates how the Congressional Black Caucus and the Supreme Court have differing points of view about how to interpret the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. This book provides the reader a historical understanding of racial politics in America as well as the current lay of the land in terms of the Court's modern interpretation of the Voting Rights Act and relevant sections of the Constitution."
—Tom Brunell, University of Texas at Dallas
Jacket image: © tuja66/Veer