The Yale Law Journal

Voting Rights

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The Predominance Test: A Judicially Manageable Compactness Standard for Redistricting

Michael McDonald

Most states require compact legislative districts, but courts have no framework to judge when contorted districts are legally suspect. This Essay proposes a “Predominance Test” that limits the most egregious gerrymanders by comparing challenged maps to maximally compact plans to test whether compact…

Article

Disparate Impact, Unified Law

Nicholas O. Stephanopoulos

Lower federal courts have recently converged on a two-part test for vote denial claims under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Yet this status quo is doctrinally incoherent and constitutionally vulnerable. Courts, this Article contends, should look to disparate impact law to address these problems…

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Vote Dissociation

Daniel P. Tokaji

The 2016 election highlighted deep-seated problems in American democracy that voting rights cannot fix. This Essay employs the term “vote dissociation” to refer to a species of voting rights injury that is qualitatively different from both vote denial and vote dilution, in which concentrated wealth …

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A Post-Shelby Strategy: Exposing Discriminatory Intent in Voting Rights Litigation

Danielle Lang & J. Gerald Hebert

In the wake of Shelby County, voting rights lawyers have pushed to hold jurisdictions fully accountable for their actions by proving claims of intentional discrimination under Section 3 of the VRA. This Essay explores the importance of this strategic move in the latest generation of voting rights ca…

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Building an Umbrella in a Rainstorm: The New Vote Denial Litigation Since Shelby County

Dale E. Ho

This Essay traces the post-Shelby County development of a two-part Section 2 vote denial liability test. It also describes the tension as to the necessity of evidence (1) regarding the effect of voting practices on voter turnout and (2) concerning discriminatory intent on the part of a state actor.