Uncategorized

North Carolina supports Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

Among the many points made by Supreme Court writer and Yale Law professor Linda Greenhouse in her recent New York Times piece about the Voting Rights Act case, two are of particular note.

First, North Carolina joined New York, California and Mississippi in a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Section 5, saying that its preclearance requirement “has provided ‘significant and measurable benefits’ in helping covered jurisdictions ‘move toward their goal of eliminating racial discrimination and inequities in voting.”'”

Second — and a point largely overlooked in the reporting on the case but certain to detract from the “once a covered jurisdiction always a covered jurisdiction” argument —  jurisdictions can bail out of the requirements by demonstrating that they have maintained a clean voting-rights record for the previous 10 years.  As Greenhouse further points out:

There has been a flurry of bailouts in [recent] years. Ten entire counties in Virginia, as well as cities there and in Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama, have been granted bailout authority by the Justice Department since 2010, with the elapsed time between application and exemption as short as six weeks. The option is clearly open to any jurisdiction that has earned it. In fact, since 1984, no jurisdiction seeking a bailout has been refused one.

Jurisdictions can also be bailed in on the basis of specific findings that they suffer from voter discrimination, a prospect that has at least some deterrent effect.  It happened to New Mexico in 1982 and Arkansas in 1990.

One Comment


  1. Frances Jenkins

    March 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Sharon,
    Would you address the 11,000 people who register on line in NC, SBOE members were not aware and the group who register these voters were paid $25,000.00 by the Obama campaign? Since under the current system this is illegal, do you think Rouzer actually won? According to Blueprint, would this be illegal or just a mistake?

Check Also

State Supreme Court rules retroactive application of teacher tenure repeal is unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Weeks after the top school board member in Robeson County predicted the southeastern North Carolina [...]

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

With Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House desperate to post a big legislative win, the [...]

Latest court system mess is directly linked to the Right’s ideological war on public structures Some [...]

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit s [...]

The post Charitable donations and the GOP’s chopping block appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more