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Louisiana Law Review Symposium Reflects on the Voting Rights Act at 50: The Past, Present, and Future of the Right to Vote

Experts from across the nation gathered at the LSU Law Center on Friday, January 16, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Acts at 50: The Past, Present, and Future of the Right to Vote, was the focus of the day-long 2015 Louisiana Law Review Symposium. The LSU Law Center and the Pugh Institute for Justice co-sponsored the symposium.

Chancellor Jack Weiss welcomed the attendees to the packed McKernan Auditorium. Dean Wendy Brown Scott of the Mississippi College School of Law presented the keynote address, “Thurgood Marshall, History and the Voting Rights Act: Burden or Proof?”

Professor Paul Finkelman, Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Earl Maltz, Rutgers School of Law, Professor Orville Vernon Burton, Clemson University, and Dean Wendy Brown Scott discussed the events that led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act and how the VRA impacted voting rights in the United States since its enactment. Vice Chancellor Ray Diamond moderated the discussion.

Professor Justin Levitt, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles and Professor Theodore Rave, University of Houston Law Center addressed the impact of gerrymandering on the ability to vote and the effectiveness of one’s right to vote. Professor John Devlin moderated the panel.

Professor Michael Coenen led the panel discussion that examined the future of the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Professor Seth Davis, UC Irvine School of Law, Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos, University of Chicago School of Law, and Professor Franita Tolson, Florida State University College of Law, discussed the Court’s decision.

Since 1938, the Louisiana Law Review has served as Louisiana’s flagship legal journal and has become a vibrant forum for scholarship in comparative and civil law topics. The Louisiana Law Review currently ranks in the top 200 student-edited journals, and among the top 100 journals for the highest number of cases citing to a law review.