Today on Modern Notion Daily: journalist Ari Berman takes us through the history of voting rights and restrictions in the last 50 years, as detailed in his book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2015). Berman explores why the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was so effective in registering previously disenfranchised voters. Berman argues that the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder weakened the VRA immeasurably in a time when it’s still necessary. (Check out the literacy test used in Louisiana that Berman refers to in the interview here.) Later in the hour, contributing editor Erin Blakemore tells us about three societies where women rule.

Music this hour: