Daniel McCool

The Most Fundamental Right

Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act

Indiana University Press 2012

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Daniel McCool, professor of political science at the University of Utah, is the editor of The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting...

Daniel McCool, professor of political science at the University of Utah, is the editor of The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act (Indiana University Press, 2012). The VRA was one of the center pieces of the civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s. The Act aimed to address great inequities in access to and participation in voting, particularly among African Americans. Perhaps most controversially, the law labeled a handful of states that were deemed the most egregious violators of voting rights, and required them to gain pre-clearance from the Department of Justice on any changes in state voting procedures. Nearly fifty years later, is the case for the VRA still so pressing or are modifications or a complete overhaul called for? This timely collection provides deep theoretical and empirical justifications for the VRA, and equally well-developed arguments in opposition. One finished the collection more informed and a little unsure of what is called, both signs of a well-edited volume.

The timeliness of this book cannot be overstated. On Wednesday February 26, 2013, the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Voting Rights case of Shelby County v Holder.

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