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Mistaken Identity : The Supreme Court and the Politics of Minority Representation - Keith J. Bybee

Mistaken Identity

The Supreme Court and the Politics of Minority Representation

Paperback Published: 21st July 2002
ISBN: 9780691094960
Number Of Pages: 216

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Is it ever legitimate to redraw electoral districts on the basis of race? In its long struggle with this question, the U.S. Supreme Court has treated race-conscious redistricting either as a requirement of political fairness or as an exercise in corrosive racial quotas. Cutting through these contradictory positions, Keith Bybee examines the theoretical foundations of the Court's decisions and the ideological controversy those decisions have engendered. He uncovers erroneous assumptions about political identity on both sides of the debate and formulates new terms on which minority representation can be pursued.

As Bybee shows, the Court has for the last twenty years encouraged a division between individualist and group concepts of political identity. He demonstrates convincingly that both individualist and group proponents share the misguided notion that political identity is formed prior to and apart from politics itself. According to Bybee, this "mistaken identity" should be abandoned for a more flexible, politically informed understanding of who the "people" really are. Thus, a misdirected debate will be replaced by a more considered discussion in which the people can speak for themselves, even as the Court speaks on their behalf. Engaged in the politics of minority representation, the Court will be able to help citizens articulate and achieve more fruitful forms of political community.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
The Voting Rights Act and the Struggle for Meaningful Political Membershipp. 12
The Supreme Court and Representation: Building an Analytical Frameworkp. 30
Sound and Fury: Identifying the Role of Political Identity in the Public Debatep. 51
The Early Casesp. 70
The Later Cases: The Polarization of Judicial Debatep. 98
The Possibilities of Legislative Learningp. 145
Table of Casesp. 173
Reference Listp. 175
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691094960
ISBN-10: 0691094969
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 21st July 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 16.15  x 1.32
Weight (kg): 0.31