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Supreme Court skeptical about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

Posted By Sharon McCloskey On February 27, 2013 @ 12:02 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

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 [1] in The Atlantic in November, correctly predicted that the court would uphold the Affordable Care Act, with Justice John Roberts writing the opinion.

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[1] profiled: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/11/the-court-crasher/309106/

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