88 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 1 (2009-2011)

handle is hein.journals/seealtex88 and id is 1 raw text is: Texas Law Review
See Also
Essay
The Voting Rights Act Through the Justices' Eyes:
NAMUDNO and Beyond
Joshua A. Douglas*
The most surprising action from the Supreme Court's latest term may be
what it did not do: strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights A ct (VRA) as
unconstitutional.' After the oral argument in Northwest Austin Municipal
Utility District Number One v. Holder (NAMUDNO),2 Most Court observers
expected the Court to issue a strongly divided opinion invalidating
Congress's reauthorization of the provision that requires certain covered
jurisdictions to seek preapproval, or preclearance, before enacting any
change that affects voting.3 Instead, the Court issued an 8-1 opinion that
avoided the constitutional question and decided the case on a narrower
statutory ground.4  This Essay discusses what the Court said-and did not
say-in NAMUDNO and explores the emerging trends in current election law
jurisprudence.
I proceed in three Parts.     Part I discusses the Court's statutory
interpretation and constitutional avoidance approach in NAMUDNO. In Part
II, I explain how each current Justice generally views the VRA by coding
each Justice's votes in prior VRA cases as either expansive or restrictive
* Law Clerk to the Honorable Edward C. Prado. United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit. Special thanks to Daniel P. Tokaji, Michael J. Pitts. and Benjamin Wallfisch for their
invaluable assistance in reviewing drafts ofthisEssay.
1. See Nw. Austin Mun. Util. Dist. No. One v. Holder (NAMUDNO). 129 S. Ct. 2504. 2514-17
(2009) (addressing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act).
2. 129 S. Ct. 2504 (2009).
3. 42 U.S.C.  1973c(a) (2006);see, e.g.. NAMUDNO: The Answer to My Question Appears to
Be Yes, Posting of Rick Hasen to Election Law Blog,
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/013533.html (Apr. 30. 2009. 08:00 EST) (claiming that the
Court was likely to invalidate Section 5 of the VRA.
4. NAMUDNO 129 S. Ct. at 2516-17.
5. For a more comprehensive history of the Voting Rights Act, see generally J. Morgan
Kousser, The Strange, Ironic Career of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 19652007 86 TEXAS L.
REv. 667 (2008).

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