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Supreme Court skeptical about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

Here’s the quick analysis of today’s Supreme Court argument in Shelby County  v. U.S., the case concerning the continued viability of  Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act — the preclearance requirement — from Tom Goldstein, founder of the popular SCOTUSblog:

Following through on the deep constitutional concerns stated in its prior Northwest Austin decision, a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes. The vote seems quite likely to be five-to-four. The more liberal members pressed both the narrow argument that an Alabama county was not a proper plaintiff because it inevitably would be covered and the broader argument that there was a sufficient record to justify the current formula. But the more conservative majority was plainly not persuaded by either point. It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure.

Goldstein, who was profiled in The Atlantic in November, correctly predicted that the court would uphold the Affordable Care Act, with Justice John Roberts writing the opinion.

One Comment


  1. Doug

    February 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    It will be nice to get out from under the weight of this onerous, racisim generating, law. Maybe now NC can stop gerrymandering in order to guarantee >50% of racial minorities in districts and get back to having local representation.

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