Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Piece of Voting Rights Act
Posted at 10:20 a.m. on June 25, 2013
In a 5-to-4 split, the Supreme Court has found Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, ruling that the formula by which states, counties, and localities are selected for preclearance of all changes to election laws and procedures by the Justice Department is based on outdated data.
Here are the opinions in Shelby County v. Holder. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas concurred, and Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissent.
NBC News: “Congress has renewed it four times, most recently in 2006, with overwhelming margins in both houses. But the law still uses election data from 1972 to determine which states, cities and counties are covered.”
Associated Press: “The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington’s approval for election changes.”