African American Legislators and Substantive Representation in Louisiana

As the number of African Americans elected to state legislatures has increased, so has the presence of formal caucuses consisting of all, or almost all, of these legislators. Jas M. Sullivan and Jonathan Winburn state, in The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, that such caucuses are present in ‘‘at least 30 states’’ (p. 37).

The Political Scientist as Expert

Political scientists serve in court rooms as expert witnesses on many topics related to their professional training: elections, same-sex marriages,employer sanctions for hiring undocumented aliens, school desegregation, political asylum requests, property rights, and racial profiling, among many others. It is not by chance that we—the authors—have chosen to testify as experts in cases concerning elections (see also Cain 1999).

Influence District and the Courts: A Concept in Need of Clarity

The concept of "influence district" is referenced frequently in discussing minority voting rights and representational districting.

Cumulative and Limited Voting: Minority Electoral Opportunities and More

Geographically based majority-minority single member districts (SMDs) have been the medium generally, but not exclusively, for providing minority groups protected by the Voting Rights Act (VRA) with new opportunities to elect representatives of their choice to legislative bodies. Two other election systems have been used for this purpose as well: cumulative (CV) and limited voting (LV).

Race and Southern Politics

The federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) is an iconic civil rights statute. It was adopted in 1965, and amended in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006, the later revision including an extension of its special time-limited provisions, applicable to primarily southern states, to July 27, 2031. It is widely regarded as the most effective civil rights law in the history of the United States.

Review of Minority Representatives and Minority Representation

Does the election of minority group members enhance the representation of their groups in legislative bodies? It was once widely thought, at least when it came to groups like African Americans and Latinos, that the answer is yes. Indeed, the prevailing view was the more the better. But this view is not unchallenged. An alternative perspective, labeled the “perverse effects thesis,” maintains that more descriptive representation is not necessarily better, at least in contemporary American politics.

Politics, Groups, and Identities~ The Obama coalition and the future of American politics

Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama incited a wave of news articles and commentary discussing
the United States’ changing voter demographics and what it could mean for the future of the
Republican Party. Conservative commentators, such as Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, publicly lamented
the loss of “traditional” white America, to be replaced by a country of non-white voters who
“want stuff” from government.