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Nix v. Holder and Shelby County v. Holder, Cato Legal Briefs

Nix v. Holder and Shelby County v. Holder, Cato Legal Briefs

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Published by: Cato Institute on Aug 20, 2012
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10/10/2013

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Nos. 12-81, 12-96
 
In the Supreme Court of the United States
 __________ 
John Nix, et al.
 Petitioners
,
v.
Eric H. Holder Jr., et al.
Respondents.
 __________ 
Shelby County, Alabama
 Petitioner
,
v.
Eric H. Holder Jr., et al.,
Respondents.
 __________ 
On Appeal from the U.S. Court of Appealsfor the District of Columbia Circuit __________ 
Brief of 
 Amicus Curiae
Cato InstituteIn Support of Petitioners in Both Cases
 __________ 
Ilya Shapiro
Counsel of Record
Matthew B. GilliamCato Institute1000 Mass. Ave., N.W.Washington, DC 20001(202) 842-0200ishapiro@cato.org
 
 
QUESTIONS PRESENTED
1.
 
Has the modern application of the Voting Rights Act resulted in an exercise of extra-constitutionalauthority by the federal government that conflictswith the Act’s very purpose?2.
 
Can Voting Rights Act Sections 2 and 5 coexist? If not, which section is the more appropriate remedyfor remedying voter disenfranchisement?
 
ii
TABLE OF CONTENTSPage
QUESTIONS PRESENTED........................................iTABLE OF AUTHORITIES......................................iiiINTEREST OF
 AMICUS CURIAE 
............................1SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT....................................2 ARGUMENT...............................................................4I. THIS COURT MUST RECONSIDER THECONTINUING VIABLITY OF THE VOTINGRIGHTS ACT BECAUSE THIS HISTORICLEGISLATION NO LONGER SERVES ITSORIGINAL PURPOSE..........................................4 A. The VRA, Once Justified by Jim Crow, IsNow an “Eye Glazing Mess”............................41. Successful at First......................................42. Moving in the Wrong Direction..................63. Congress Exacerbates the Anachronism...8B. Section 5 Conflicts with the Constitution.....111. Substantial Federalism Costs..................122. Equal Protection Problems......................143. Confusing Purpose and Effect.................17II. SECTIONS 2 AND 5 ARE AT A “BLOODY CROSSROADS”...................................................20 A. The Conflict between Sections 2 and 5 CreatesBad Law..........................................................20B. Section 2 is the Proper Remedy for the Prob-lems Congress Identified...............................23CONCLUSION.........................................................25

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