Above view of residential areas in Richmond, Virginia.

How the Former Confederate Capital Slashed Black Voting Power, Overnight

Did Richmond violate the Voting Rights Act by adding thousands of White residents? The historic Supreme Court case foreshadowed today’s gerrymandering fights.
Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court holding signs that read "People Over Politics."

A Post-Reconstruction Proposal That Would Have Restored Power to the People

Largely forgotten today, Albion W. Tourgée’s legislation could have prevented Moore v. Harper.
Drawing of a voting booth on top of a gerrymandered district with a saw cutting the floor out from under it.

American Democracy Was Never Designed to Be Democratic

The partisan redistricting tactics of cracking and packing aren’t merely flaws in the system—they are the system.

Gerrymandering's Surprising History and Uncertain Future

Both parties play the redistricting game, redrawing electoral boundaries to lock down power.

History Frowns on Partisan Gerrymandering

On the eve of a major redistricting case at the Supreme Court, a look back at what the nation's founders would have thought.

Where Did the Term 'Gerrymander' Come From?

Elbridge Gerry was a powerful voice in the founding of the nation, but today he's best known for the political practice with an amphibious origin.

Ahead of a Major Supreme Court Case on Gerrymandering, Here Are the Term's Origins

The word is two centuries old.

The New Racism

A glimpse inside the Alabama State House suggests that the civil rights movement may have reached its end.
illustration of a hand with a shredded ballot

John Roberts’s Long Game

Is this the end of the Voting Rights Act?
4 photo collage illustrating the partnership between the White League and the Ku Klux Klan in engaging in vigilante terrorism and racial violence

Colfax, Cruikshank, and the Latter-Day War on Reconstruction

Unearthing the deep roots of racialized voter suppression—and explaining how they shape ballot access today.
Civil rights era photo of young people protesting for voting rights in between black and white photos of black people lined up to vote

American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old—And Hanging by a Thread

Black civil-rights activists—and especially Black women—delivered on the promise of the Founding. Their victories are in peril.
"A National Game that is Played Out," political cartoon, engraving by Thomas Nast. From Harper's Weekly, 23 December 1876, page 1044.

Who Counts?

A look at voter rights through political cartoons.
Robert E. Lee Memorial covered in graffiti and projections and surrounded by protesters.

The Racism of Confederate Monuments Extends to Voter Suppression

GOP-led state legislatures have not only prevented voters from exercising their rights as citizens, they have usurped local control to remove monuments legally.

The Supreme Court Is in Danger of Again Becoming ‘the Grave of Liberty’

Supreme Court decisions have practical consequences, which justices too often blithely ignore.

The Forgotten History of How Abraham Lincoln Helped Rig the Senate for Republicans

The Great Emancipator has a lesson for today's Democrats about how to play constitutional hardball.

Fighting to Vote

Voting rights are often associated with the Civil Rights Movement, but this fight extends throughout American history.

Re-mapping American Politics

The redistricting revolution, fifty years later.
Engraving of "We the People," in which the words "We" and "the" are painted over.

How Do We Survive the Constitution?

In “Tyranny of the Minority,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt argue that the document has doomed our politics. But it can also save them.
Scale, with pile of U.S. states weighing down one end, and the U.S. on the other.

How a Fringe Legal Theory Became a Threat to Democracy

Lawyers tried to use the independent-state-legislature theory to sway the outcomes of the 2000 and 2020 elections. What if it were to become the law of the land?

Republicans Have Won the Senate Half the Time Since 2000 Despite Winning Fewer Votes than Democrats

How the Senate has become a bastion of Republican minority rule.