A Look at Shelby County: The Future of the Voting Rights Act.

February 14, 2013
On Thursday, February 14, 2013, at 13:00 p.m., the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy hosted “A Look at Shelby County: The Future of the Voting Rights Act.” The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Shelby County v. Holder on February 27The case, brought by an Alabama county, challenges the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act just four years after the Court reviewed a similar case in Texas, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder. Voting rights advocates contend that Section 5 has been and continues to be a critical tool in combating efforts to disenfranchise minority voters. Is Section 5 still needed? What constitutional questions are in play in this case? What are the potential implications for congressional action aimed at combating discrimination in other contexts? What challenges lie ahead? Panelists will explore these and other questions in a thought-provoking discussion on the future of the Voting Rights Act.
Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society
Opening Remarks:
Congressman Melvin Watt, (NC, 13th District)
Panel Discussion will feature:
  • ModeratorJulie Fernandes, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations
  • Armand Derfner, Partner, Derfner Altman & Wilborn  
  • Ryan Haygood, Director, Political Participation Group, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center