By Justin Levitt, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, which participated as amici curiae in support of the Plaintiffs-Appellants in Hayden v. Pataki
In the past week, two important Voting Rights Act decisions have come under fire from conservative commentators. The Voting Rights Act can be expected to stir strong emotions, and strong emotions can be expected to distort reality. But the nature of the recent critique is fun-house-mirror material.
The first decision, Hayden v. Pataki, involved a dissent by Judge Sotomayor, of renewed importance upon her nomination to the Supreme Court. The second decision is the new administration's first objection to VRA preclearance for a statewide legal change, and a notable change in approach after years of controversy in the DOJ's Voting Section.