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Bender featured on PBS Horizon
discussed on PBS’s Horizon on March 5 a U.S. Supreme Court hearing of a case that involves the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The case, Shelby County v. Holder, involves an Alabama county that seeks to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states with histories of voter discrimination to get permission from the U.S. Justice Department or a federal district court before making any changes to voting laws.
The county argues that Section 5 is unconstitutional, and that the formula for deciding the applicable states is outdated.
Some, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, have called Section 5 a form of racial entitlement, according to Bender.
“It’s really an outrageous thing for them to say,” he said.
Bender said the reason for preclearance is to prevent voting laws from being changed right before an election.
“If something is done a week or two, or a month or two before an election, there’s no way to bring a lawsuit on the grounds that it’s discriminatory,” he said.
Bender said he thinks the Court will strike down Section 5, adding that the determining factor will be Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision.
To see the interview, click
Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law, and has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law. He has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.