Reading List

The following is our recommended Reading List.  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 update this list regularly.

By Cheryl Harris | March 17, 2017

Whiteness as Property 106 Harv. L. Rev. 1707, 1744-45 (1993)

Professor Cheryl Harris notes a time period during which the United States experienced a simultaneous expansion of the right to vote for white voters and the contraction of the right to vote for African Americans:

“[On the eve of the Civil War], the franchise . . . was broadened to extend voting rights to unpropertied white men at the same time that Black voters were specifically disenfranchised, arguably shifting the property required for voting from land to whiteness.”

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By Hans A. von Spakovsky, Jamal Greene, Lani Guinier, Pamela Karlan, Richard H. Pildes | March 17, 2017

Room for Debate: The Battle, Not the War, on Voting Rights N.Y. Times, June 22, 2009

A distinguished group of experts, including Professor Lani Guinier, Professor Pamela Karlan, and Professor Richard Pildes, discuss voting rights in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder.  Professor Guinier:

“[T]he real question is why all American citizens do not enjoy an affirmative constitutionally protected right to vote.  This is the question that we dodge at our collective peril.”

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By New York Times Editorial Board | March 17, 2017

Editorial: A Universal Right to Vote N.Y. Times, Mar. 11, 2013

On its Opinion Pages, the New York Times Editorial Board writes in favor of a universal right to vote:

“A country that takes pride in its democratic system should provide all voters with basic voting standards.”

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By Pamela Karlan | March 17, 2017

Voting Rights and the Third Reconstruction, The Constitution in 2020 Jack M. Balkin and Reva B. Siegel, eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 2009

Professor Pamela Karlan asks:

“What would it mean to develop an affirmative conception of the right to vote, one in which the government has an obligation to facilitate citizens’ exercise of the franchise?”

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By Kenji Yoshino | March 17, 2017

The New Equal Protection 124 Harv. L. Rev. 747, 794-795 (2011)

Professor Kenji Yoshino discusses “equality fatigue,” and inter alia, its implications for movements built on “rights talk,” including the right to vote movement.

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