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High court voids key part of Voting Rights Act

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:30 AM
Last updated Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:38 AM
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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled today that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require federal monitoring of elections.

The justices said in 5-4 vote that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that do not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.

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 the justices did say lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington’s approval, in advance, for election changes.

Chief Justice John Roberts said for the conservative majority that Congress “may draft another formula based on current conditions.”

The decision comes five months after President Obama, the nation’s first black chief executive, started his second term in the White House, re-elected by a diverse coalition of voters.

The high court is in the midst of a broad re-examination of the ongoing necessity of laws and programs aimed at giving racial minorities access to major areas of American life from which they once were systematically excluded. The justices issued a modest ruling Monday that preserved affirmative action in higher education and will take on cases dealing with anti-discrimination sections of a federal housing law and another affirmative action case from Michigan next term.

The court warned of problems with the voting rights law in a similar case heard in 2009. The justices averted a major constitutional ruling at that time, but Congress did nothing to address the issues the court raised. The law’s opponents, sensing its vulnerability, filed several new lawsuits.

The latest decision came in a challenge to the advance approval, or preclearance, requirement, which was brought by Shelby County, Ala., a Birmingham suburb.

The lawsuit acknowledged that the measure’s strong medicine was appropriate and necessary to counteract decades of state-sponsored discrimination in voting, despite the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the vote for black Americans.

But it asked whether there was any end in sight for a provision that intrudes on states’ rights to conduct elections, an issue the court’s conservative justices also explored at the argument in February. It was considered an emergency response when first enacted in 1965.

The county noted that the 25-year extension approved in 2006 would keep some places under Washington’s oversight until 2031 and seemed not to account for changes that include the elimination of racial disparity in voter registration and turnout or the existence of allegations of race-based discrimination in voting in areas of the country that are not subject to the provision.

The Obama administration and civil rights groups said there is a continuing need for it and pointed to the Justice Department’s efforts to block voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas last year, as well as a redistricting plan in Texas that a federal court found discriminated against the state’s large and growing Hispanic population.

Advance approval was put into the law to give federal officials a potent tool to defeat persistent efforts to keep blacks from voting.

The provision was a huge success because it shifted the legal burden and required governments that were covered to demonstrate that their proposed changes would not discriminate. Congress periodically has renewed it over the years. The most recent extension was overwhelmingly approved by a Republican-led Congress and signed by President George W. Bush.

The requirement currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan. Coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaska Natives and Hispanics.

Towns in New Hampshire that had been covered by the law were freed from the advance approval requirement in March. Supporters of the provision pointed to the ability to bail out of the prior approval provision to argue that the law was flexible enough to accommodate change and that the court should leave the Voting Rights Act intact.

On Monday, the Justice Department announced an agreement that would allow Hanover County, Va., to bail out.

Comments (22) Add comment
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Dixieman
15331
Points
Dixieman 06/25/13 - 10:53 am
14
2
Yay!

Occupied Georgia is a little freer today.

OJP
6788
Points
OJP 06/25/13 - 11:49 am
3
11
@Dixieman

And now that Georgia will be treated as an adult, it's time to act like one to retain those privileges.

In other words: no electioneering b.s.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/25/13 - 12:29 pm
0
0
This act
Unpublished

of congress in 1965, in my opinion, was nothing more than a yankee and black affirmation of The Northern War of Agression's victory 100 years earlier. It was designed to punish, in perpetuity, those states that held negroes in indentured slavery as field workers in the South. It condoned holding negroes in indentured slavery in the northern states because they simply could not survive without them. You will now see a massive spike in racism complaints in the states affected by the Supreme Court ruling. naacp, go do your job and stir up more civil unrest, as you're accustomed to.
aclu, go stir up more unrest. sclc, go stir up more unrest. southern poverty law center, go stir up more unrest. obama, hagen, sotomayor, ginsburg, breyer, go stir up some more unrest. holder, you keep da whitey down as long as you can, massa. Those of you who are so dissatisfied with the ruling are free to move anywhere you desire. Kenya needs people, Somalia needs people, Venezuela needs people, You might not be welcomed in China or Russia, though. See, you now have options.

nocnoc
43451
Points
nocnoc 06/25/13 - 02:47 pm
2
0
Other reports indicate the

Other reports indicate the section which governs 5 was voided,
thus allowing redistricting without FED approval?
QUOTING
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/25/court-past-voting-discri...
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states can no longer be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago, in a decision that marks the end of a major civil-rights era reform.

The 5-4 ruling rewrites a key tool of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ....

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 06/25/13 - 03:07 pm
9
3
Richmond County Minority

The way the population of Richmond County is, it may not be a bad idea to continue anti-discrimination court supervision.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 06/25/13 - 03:04 pm
9
1
Yeah, Dixieman...that line

Yeah, Dixieman...that line sounds like a popular sentiment.:)

Fiat_Lux
15688
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/26/13 - 01:10 pm
11
1
I'm not sure this is a great idea, per the 3:07 comment

It simply will be a different demographic that needs protection nowadays.

But Dixieman definitely has the right attitude about the Federales vs. the South. In reality, removing this type of "oversight" won't change much for us: the nation has plenty of Food Network-type weenies along with virtually all the Fourth Estate to keep the WASP&RC-types in the South firmly under control when it comes to PC, anti-Christian, anti-traditional family-marriage and anti-life values.

Pops
9022
Points
Pops 06/25/13 - 04:07 pm
11
2
And now for the

screaming on the left about the "southern states" reverting back to the 1950's.

Like Chicago and New York ran crystal clean elections back then.

RMSHEFF
16203
Points
RMSHEFF 06/25/13 - 06:13 pm
6
3
You know this must be a good

You know this must be a good ruling when Holder is upset. We have seen his idea of what voter intimidation is and is not with both the Black Panther voter intimidation case and the IRS scandal.

allhans
23773
Points
allhans 06/25/13 - 08:34 pm
5
1
What took them so long.

What took them so long.

Truth Matters
6986
Points
Truth Matters 06/25/13 - 10:21 pm
3
5
SCOTUS

"Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so." ......Senator Rand Paul, 2012
Substitute 'constitutional' for 'unconstitutional'

Young Fred
17614
Points
Young Fred 06/25/13 - 11:45 pm
7
3
In other news, I hear that

In other news, I hear that Rev Al Sharpton went into an epileptic fit like seizure upon hearing this news. If the “honorable” Rev Al Sharpton doesn't like this decision, it must be good for the country!!!

deestafford
27877
Points
deestafford 06/26/13 - 12:34 am
7
3
The boot of the yankee government and the liberals has been

taken off the neck of the South much to the chagrin of the left and the race pimps like Jesse Jackson.

specsta
6515
Points
specsta 06/26/13 - 01:26 am
3
11
Small Thinking

An intelligent person doesn't need to look any further than the comments on this article to understand that racial equality and progress still has a long way to go.

The minuscule mindset of conservatives in regards to ensuring the unrestricted ability of every citizen's right to vote is appalling.

seenitB4
88176
Points
seenitB4 06/26/13 - 06:34 am
7
1
Where do racists live

Are we so stupid to think they live ONLY in the south? Get real here....the south has been treated like bad step kids.....not worthy of grown up status.....finally we are sitting at the grown up table....wow.. maybe we can have a piece of steak now.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/26/13 - 07:49 am
10
3
"An intelligent person
Unpublished

"An intelligent person doesn't need to look any further than the comments on this article to understand that racial equality and progress still has a long way to go."

Explain. How is it a bad thing to treat all 50 states equally?

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 06/26/13 - 08:20 am
7
3
Rediculous

"The minuscule mindset of conservatives in regards to ensuring the unrestricted ability of every citizen's right to vote is appalling". What an irresponsible comment.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/26/13 - 08:24 am
8
3
It would be interesting to
Unpublished

It would be interesting to see Specsta attempt to logically explain how this SCOTUS ruling will restrict anyone's right to vote without making unfounded assumptions.

JRC2024
9085
Points
JRC2024 06/26/13 - 09:00 am
4
3
Humble Angela I do not think

Humble Angela I do not think he can explain. I am a conservative and think all citizens of the US should be able to vote. I also do not see anything wrong with asking for identification before you vote via way of a voter location card AND a picture ID. To get upset over showing ID's is just not bright.

KSL
131309
Points
KSL 06/26/13 - 09:31 am
4
3
specsta

You do remember that it was in PA that the New Black Panthers were caught on film trying to intimidate voters, and the DOJ did nothing about it?

internationallyunknown
4244
Points
internationallyunknown 06/26/13 - 10:01 am
2
1
It will not make it pass

It will not make it pass Congress.

Race in America.....the never ending fascination.

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 06/26/13 - 10:17 am
1
0
international

What won't make it pass Congess?

Red Headed Step Child
4098
Points
Red Headed Step Child 06/26/13 - 10:45 am
5
1
The whole gnashing of teeth

The whole gnashing of teeth over the ID requirement to vote is ludicrous. If the "government" is concerned over low income people being able to afford a state issued ID, then for crying out loud, funnel some of that government money over into a fund that provides free IDs to people. Lord knows, there are more wasteful programs out there that can have some dollars redirected to something like this, given it's apparently a HUGE issue in this country. Really? How much does creating an ID cost? That's assuming the issue is really the cost of obtaining an IDs for those who can't afford it vs. regulating the one vote per person...dog..cat...Mickey Mouse...dead relative, etc.

Don't you have to present an ID to apply for government aid??? Employment? Unemployment benefits? Cashing a check? How is requiring it to vote any different??

ultrarnr
916
Points
ultrarnr 06/26/13 - 11:09 am
0
0
Demographics
Unpublished

Section 5 may have been overturned but demographics are catching up with the states of the old confederacy. Georgia happnes to have one of the fastest gowing Hispanic populations in the South. I am sure the legislature will try to restrict minority voting but demographics will defeat the move.

ultrarnr
916
Points
ultrarnr 06/26/13 - 11:09 am
0
0
Demographics
Unpublished

Section 5 may have been overturned but demographics are catching up with the states of the old confederacy. Georgia happnes to have one of the fastest gowing Hispanic populations in the South. I am sure the legislature will try to restrict minority voting but demographics will defeat the move.

nocnoc
43451
Points
nocnoc 06/26/13 - 02:17 pm
4
1
Voter ID

Voter ID

...
What is holding up a Voter ID card?

We have Obama Food cards, we ObamaCare, Obama Phones, Obama CableTV, Obama rent, Obama transportation & Obama Abortions.

So why not in fact just issue every Obama Supported Person a Obama Socialist Party Voter ID Card?.

They can then wave it at ICE, INS, IRS, DOJ, DEA, DHS, FEMA, Banks for Loans, SSA & SSD and etc.. As proof they are official Good Obamanites and show that they are protected person in good standard with the party.

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