Monday, November 7, 2016

Curtis on Redemption and Redistricting in North Carolina

Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest University School of Law, has posted Race As a Tool in the Struggle for Political Mastery: North Carolina's "Redemption" Revisited 1870–1905 and 2011–2013, which appeared in Law and Inequality 33 (2015): 53-142:
This article looks at two episodes in North Carolina history:  (1) the overthrow and destruction of the Republican white-black political coalition in the years between 1876 and 1900 and the techniques for overthrow used in those years; and (2) the attack on the Democratic multi-racial coalition in North Carolina’s 2010 election and 2011 redistricting.

While, thankfully, there are differences in the episodes, in both race was as a tool in the search for political mastery. In the second, 2011 redistricting, the legislature sought to justify two racial quotas and packing more black voters into black districts under the Voting Rights Act—undermining overall black political power, wasting black votes, and increasing racial polarization. The article argues that the Voting Rights Act rationale used by the legislature was deeply flawed even on its own purported terms. The article was the first of two on the subject.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog