Thernstrom Available to Comment on Supreme Court Decision

Media Inquiries: Véronique Rodman

202.862.4870 ([email protected])

MEDIA ADVISORY: June 23, 2009

Abigail Thernstrom, vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and author of the just-released Voting Rights--and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections (AEI Press, 2009), is available to comment on yesterday's Supreme Court decision on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

As Thernstrom observes:

"The Supreme Court's decision in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Eric Holder, Jr., Attorney General, et al (NAMUDNO) rests on very narrow grounds, avoiding the large constitutional issues that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act raises. The Court clarified the definition of which localities are allowed to petition to 'bail out' from coverage under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, thus sidestepping the question of Section 5's constitutionality.

But in so doing, the Court indicated clearly that it was merely postponing the day when it will confront the troubling constitutional issues that the perpetuation of a radical provision in the act poses. It will not be long before the Court will have to decide whether a racially transformed America still justifies a constitutionally extraordinary provision enacted in the context of a very different South in a bygone era."

The press release for the book is available here.

For interview requests, please contact Sara Huneke at [email protected] (202.862.4870).

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