Despite the popular belief that all U.S. citizens should have a voice in government, many states continue to have felony disenfranchisement. laws depriving felons of their voting rights in some fashion. There is, furthermore, sufficient evidence that such felony disenfranchisement laws have a greater effect on minorities than on others. As such, some litigants have turned to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is aimed at eliminating racially discriminatory voting regulations and practices, as a means of overturning felony disenfranchisement taws. This Note examines the current caselaw surrounding the application of the Voting Rights Act to state felony disenfranchisement statutes. In analyzing the caselaw, this Note attempts to explain the shortcomings of this strategy. Lastly, this Note suggests that future litigants should undertake an approach based on the Fourteenth Amendment's constitutional guarantee of an individual's right to vote.
David Zetlin-Jones, Right to Remain Silent?: What the Voting Rights Act Can and Should Say About Felony Disenfranchisement, 47 B.C.L. Rev. 411 (2006), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol47/iss2/5