James Blacksher, a practicing voting rights attorney in Alabama and Harvard Law professor and former DOJ Special Asst. to the AAG. for the Civil Rights Division, Lani Guinier write this article titled “Free at Last: Rejecting Equal Sovereignty and Restoring the Constitutional Right To Vote. Shelby County v. Holder.” In it they question the Supreme Court’s use of the Equal Sovereignty principle as a central tenant in its ruling that invalidated the mechanism for which section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is implemented.
“Shelby County is the first decision since Dred Scott to invoke the doctrine of equal sovereignty where the right to vote was involved. And, once again, just as the Court did in Dred Scott, the Court in Shelby County held that the “equal sovereignty” of the State of Alabama takes precedence over Congress’s exercise of its explicit constitutional power to enforce the voting rights of the descendants of slaves.”