This Note analyzes the Supreme Court's decision in Shaw v. Reno and examines its impact on the Court's prior voting rights jurisprudence. It begins by tracing the history of voting rights litigation from the groundbreaking reapportionment cases of the 1960s to the enactment and interpretation of the Voting Rights Act and its amendments. The Note then sets forth the facts, issues, arguments, and holding of Shaw. It continues by delineating the principles established by the Supreme Court in its earlier voting rights cases and criticizing Shaw's retreat from these principles. This Note concludes that the Supreme Court has promulgated unworkable standards for the newly created constitutional claim announced in Shaw. By rejecting goals of group empowerment and placing undue emphasis on aesthetic districting criteria, the Court creates disharmony between the dictates of the Voting Rights Act and the principles of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus paralyzing state efforts to achieve meaningful inclusion of all populations in government.
Jennifer L. Gilg,
Back to the Drawing Board: Equal Protection Clashes with the Voting Rights Act in Shaw v. Reno, 113 S. Ct. 2816 (1993),
73 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol73/iss2/5