Permalink Supreme Court guts Civil Rights-era voting protection, siding with 'Old Confederacy'

A divided US Supreme Court voided a central part of the Voting Rights Act, a law put in place during the Civil Rights movement to prevent historically racist states from creating obstacles to voting, Tuesday. - Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the Supreme Court’s opinion in Shelby County vs. Holder on Tuesday. The 5-4 decision, evidence of clear partisan lines in the nation’s highest court, was celebrated by Southern states and criticized by President Barack Obama for declaring federal oversight on state election changes unconstitutional. Roberts did not specify which, if any, part of the Constitution the rule violated. Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), invalidated by Tuesday’s decision, explained the formula used by Congress to identify regions of the US subject to extra scrutiny when local lawmakers try to change election rules. Section 4 was the precursor to Section 5, which gives the federal government the power to “preclear” any state or local changes in election rules that could potentially prevent minorities from voting.

Huffington Post: Voting Rights Act Section 4 Struck Down By Supreme Court

USDJ: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act - When Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it determined that racial discrimination in voting had been more prevalent in certain areas of the country. Section 4(a) of the Act established a formula to identify those areas and to provide for more stringent remedies where appropriate. The first of these targeted remedies was a five-year suspension of "a test or device," such as a literacy test as a prerequisite to register to vote. The second was the requirement for review, under Section 5, of any change affecting voting made by a covered area either by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or by the Attorney General. [...]

Patrick Martin: US Supreme Court guts Voting Rights Act - The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts is insolent in its dismissal of any concern over five unelected judges overturning an act of Congress and defying the popular will. This ruling will shock and anger millions of working people—and it should. In striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, the court majority defied the plain language of the Constitution. The Fifteenth Amendment, adopted in the wake of the Civil War, reads: Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


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