[Download January 12, 2008 Argument Calendar PDF]
Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, et al.
Civil Rights, Election Law
1. Whether §4(a) of the Voting Rights Act, which permits "political subdivisions" of a
State covered by §5's requirement that certain jurisdictions preclear changes
affecting voting with the federal government to bail out of §5 coverage if they can
establish a ten-year history of compliance with the VRA, must be available to any
political subunit of a covered State when the Court's precedent requires "political
subdivision" to be given its ordinary meaning throughout most of the VRA and no
statutory text abrogates that interpretation with respect to §4(a).
2. Whether, under the Court's consistent jurisprudence requiring that remedial
legislation be congruent and proportional to substantive constitutional guarantees,
the 2006 enactment of the §5 preclearance requirement can be applied as a valid
exercise of Congress's remedial powers under the Reconstruction Amendments
when that enactment was founded on a congressional record demonstrating no
evidence of a persisting pattern of attempts to evade court enforcement of votingrights
guarantees in jurisdictions covered only on the basis of data 35 or more years
old, or even when considered under a purportedly less stringent rational-basis
Gregory S. Coleman
Yetter, Warden & Coleman, L.L.P.
Debo P. Adegbile
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
New York NY
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