Resources

The following is our recommended list of Resources. Our list compiles select writings by leading academics, organizers, journalists, and litigators on topics relevant to the Right to Vote Initiative, including right-to-vote amendment language and the history of the right to vote and race.  We also feature webinars and other up-to-date resources.

By Heather Gerken | October 17, 2016

The Missing Right to Vote: What We’d Get From Amending The Constitution To Guarantee It Slate (June 14, 2012, 7:29 AM)

Professor Heather Gerken identifies at least one gain from a right-to-vote amendment:

“What an amendment would do is help the courts do a better job doing what they are doing now.  For better or for worse (and probably for worse), the courts have become the de facto referees of election disputes. It’s the Star Wars problem. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, they are our only hope, the only ones (outside of self-interested politicians) who can step in. But while courts inevitably must resolve these cases, they lack the tools to do so.”

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By Heather Gerken | October 17, 2016

The Right to Vote: Is The Amendment Game Worth The Candle? 23 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts J. 11 (2014)

Professor Heather Gerken evaluates arguments for and against the right-to-vote amendment, concluding:

“It would be wonderful if the Constitution included a robust right to vote.  But given how few resources we have to fight the good fight, I would rather see them directed toward discrete projects with concrete payoffs . . . .  Targeted litigating and politicking seem more likely to bring about the desired results than a full-fledged social movement.”

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By Joshua Fields | October 17, 2016

Creating a Federal Right to Vote Center for American Progress, (June 25, 2013)

Joshua Fields of the Center for American Progress argues for a right-to-vote amendment:

“[A] campaign for a right-to-vote amendment could provide needed attention and focus on the voting rights issues that face our nation.  Our right to vote is not guaranteed; once Americans learn this, maybe they will take action to change it.”

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By Garrett Epps | October 17, 2016

What Does The Constitution Actually Say About Voting Rights? Or, How The Shelby Ruling Is Like Starving A Dog To Death The Atlantic, Aug. 19, 2013

Professor Garrett Epps examines the text of the Constitution:

“The right to vote of citizens of the United States remains a kind of stepchild in the family of American rights, perhaps because it is not listed in the Bill of Rights, and perhaps because Americans still retain the Framers’ ambivalence about democracy.”

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By Joshua Douglas | October 17, 2016

The Right-To-Vote Amendment Is Worth At Least One Candle: A Reply To Heather Gerken Election L. Blog, (Feb. 25, 2015, 9:38 PM)

Professor Joshua Douglas defends the right-to-vote amendment:

“We are likely to see the biggest effects of a federal amendment where we least expect it: in state courts.”

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