This course will examine voting rights in America from a historical and legal perspective. Starting from the original conception of the Founding Fathers, the course will explore the evolution of voting rights through adoption of the 15th and 19th Amendments; voting impediments faced by African-Americans during Reconstruction and in the Jim Crow South; the Voting Rights Act of 1965; legal issues posed by the enforcement of the Act; various state restrictions on the right to vote following the Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder (voter I.D. laws, registration procedures, ballot rules, and purges of registration lists); voter suppression; voter fraud; and racial and partisan gerrymandering.
John S. Ross, III holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law and served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University. He has taught a number of courses in the WISE Program on constitutional law topics.
Required book: The Fight to Vote, by Michael Waldman (Simon & Schuster 2016). ISBN 978-1501116483
Reading for first class: A syllabus will be distributed prior to the first class.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609