Host: American Enterprise Institute. The Founders intended for individuals to choose their representatives based on their character and how well they would promote the common good, not because of their membership in any one racial, ethnic, or religious group. The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 sought to reaffirm this principle by outlawing the South’s Jim Crow voting restrictions, which had excluded most blacks from participation in public affairs. But over the last 40 years, judicial interpretation has transformed the VRA from a law that protects individuals’ access to vote into a mandate for racial and ethnic proportional representation.
At this book forum, Utah State University political science professor Anthony A. Peacock will discuss his new book,Deconstructing the Republic: Voting Rights, the Supreme Court, and the Founders’ Republicanism Reconsidered (AEI Press, April 2008), which argues that the VRA’s judicial evolution has damaged our democratic form of government by institutionalizing political identities based on un-American conceptions of race and ethnicity, eliminating the common good from the political framework. Michael Carvin of Jones Day and Daniel Lowenstein of UCLA will respond. AEI’s Steven F. Hayward will moderate.
Added by insideronline on April 29, 2008