On this day in 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law—legislation that, "during the height of the Civil Rights movement...changed the American electorate, dramatically increasing minority voting, especially in the South."
The VRA remains a topic of impassioned debate: For while reauthorization of certain impermanent provisions of the Act passed "by a wide margin in the House, and unanimous in the Senate" in 2007, the "lopsided tally hid a deep and growing conflict." Next month, IU Press will publish the newest addition to the debate: The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act, edited by Daniel McCool.
The Most Fundamental Right is "an effort to understand the debate over the Act and its role in contemporary American democracy," and asks whether the VRA is "the cornerstone of civil rights law that prevents unfair voting practices, or ... an anachronism that no longer serves American democracy?" Thus the "conversation" continues.
Visit the IU Press website to find out more information about The Most Fundamental Right, as well as pre-order copies.