Daniel Ortiz

From Selma to Shelby County in Three Generations

UVA Lawyer
2015 Spring

UVA Law Faculty Affiliations


The Voting Rights Act has developed in three generations. The first began with its enactment in 1965. That generation focused on immediate and direct burdens on African-American voting, outlawed practices like literacy tests, and required many jurisdictions in the South to get approval from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., or the U.S. Department of Justice before instituting any change in voting procedures. Everyone understood who the practices ’ victims were and most thought these practices discriminatory and unjust. The Supreme Court upheld the law from constitutional attack and it enjoyed bipartisan support. Both the majority and minority leaders in the Senate, in factsponsored it.


Daniel R. Ortiz, From Selma to Shelby County in Three Generations, UVA Lawyer 89 (2015).

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