The most recent Supreme Court decision to address Congress’s power to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment bears a striking resemblance to its first. Separated by 137 years, United States v. Reese1 and Shelby County v. Holder2 both struck down statutes Congress had crafted to enforce the Amendment based on controversial readings of the statutes in question. Both dismissed undisputed evidence of unconstitutional racial discrimination in voting. Both announced relatively narrow holdings that ostensibly left room for Congress to remedy the constitutional defect at a...
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