Supreme Court Limits Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court Limits Voting Rights Act

THIS IS a devastating blow to civil rights and equal voting access, with the Supreme Court deciding to limit the Voting Rights Act protection of minority voters where it has historically been needed the most. The case was brought by Shelby County, Alabama. The Court decided in a 5-4 split, liberals opposing.

Under the law, nine mostly Southern states must get permission from the Justice Department or a special panel of three federal judges before they make changes. The rule also applies to 12 cities and 57 counties elsewhere. [NBC News]

From Pete Williams:

A deeply divided Supreme Court has limited use of a key provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, in effect invalidating the key enforcement provision that applies to all or parts of 15 states with past history of voter discrimination.

The case involved Section 5, which gives federal authorities open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered areas — which include all or parts of 15 states — must be “pre-cleared” with Washington.

After the provision was reauthorized by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years, counties in Alabama and North Carolina filed suit, saying the monitoring was burdensome and unwarranted.

In what I’ve read so far, Chief Justice Roberts seemed to slap around Congress for not doing this themselves.

Congress last renewed the law in 2006, which extended it into 2031.

“Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” – Justice Antonin Scalia