High court cripples Voting Rights Act provision


why courts matterIn its 5-4 decision today in Shelby County v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially gutted the requirement that covered jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination (including 40 counties in North Carolina) seek approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures.

In his opinion, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts claimed that the Court was not invalidating the principle that preclearance can be required. Rather, he said, the Court was merely discarding the coverage formula used to determine which jurisdictions had the preclearance obligation:

Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions.

The practical effect, though, is that preclearance is at least stalled until Congress enacts a new coverage formula — not likely to be a speedy process, if it occurs at all.

According to Adam Liptak at the New York Times, “The chances that the current Congress could reach agreement on where federal oversight is required are small, most analysts say.”





  1. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    It is about time that this unconstitutional discrimination against voters is over ruled. This country is finally on the way to normalcy after what, 150 years or so.

  2. RJ

    June 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    If by “normalcy” you mean before the 13th-15th Amendments, I guess you’re right, D. Almost to the very date of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Again, your hood and robe are showing…

  3. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    No, more to where it can be acknowledged that there is no need to continue discriminating against states and voters because the conditions no longer exist for the law. You guys are all for a living, breathing, changing, Constitution…..but somehow laws are not able to live, breathe, and actually die when there is not a use for them. (And yes, I know you guys would like the Constitution to die, but I don’t think that is the case)

  4. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    And remember, the KKK was the bastion of progressives from after the Civil War until you guys found them to be just as easy to enslave by your government policies. So when you clean your pot, you can call my kettle black. Until then….keep your straw man in your pocket as that does not play here.

  5. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Also, I might request an admin ruling on the racism calling in regards to the rules of the board. you guys want to live to your rules?

    “Note: Please keep comments on topic and be respectful of other commenters. Inflammatory comments will be edited or removed. Off topic comments will be marked as spam and removed.”

  6. RJ

    June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    So dems like me used to enslave black folks with the KKK but then came up with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts to further enslave them, right? And this is your centerpiece argument. And it’s not a bit racist right?

    But when it’s pointed out to you that your posts reveal a certain, shall we say, condescending attitude toward “low information voters” and “slaves” and the NAACP/William Barber, you protest that you need protection from the admin.

    It’s pretty simple, actually. If you don’t want people to think you dislike black folks, you should stop writing posts that demean black folks. It’s not that hard. Really.

  7. Doug

    June 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Dems fought both of those acts actually. But they now defend them because they serve their purposes.

  8. RJ

    June 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Democrats supported them, Dixiecrats didn’t. Which side are you on?

  9. david esmay

    June 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Doug is like Winston Smith and everyone else on the right, engaging newspeak and double, while trying to rewrite history with lies.

  10. Allison Ward

    June 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Every bloody VOTER should be outraged by this outcome. To Wit: Voting is a public liberty. One of your dwindling few, folks. Buying your favorite TV or car is a private liberty. The right-across state houses – is taking your public liberties. And The Court? Well, they just usurped their authority and did the job of the US Congress.

  11. NoGOPinNC

    June 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Here we go….first they came for the minorities…it is just the beginning. It is a fact that the bullies in Raleigh were put their by a minority of voters…if you can’t win an election fairly..start taking away rights…this is the only strategy that will allow the GOP to win

  12. Doug

    June 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    KKK Byrd was not a dixiecrat,

    June 9, 1964
    Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV),

    “Lockbox” Gore has some seedy past notwithstanding his dad was a Dixiecrat but so what…they spoke for the party as a whole…and there were only like 15 of them. Like they had a lot of power back then that was not conceded by the party as a whole:

    June 10, 1964
    Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a staggering majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr. Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed

    This bill was actually spear headed by the Republicans for back when it was needed. I guess you guys are still set on discrimination?

    August 4, 1965
    Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; 94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation, while 27% of Democrats oppose. Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor

  13. RJ

    June 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    So your point is that democrats opposed the Voting Rights Act because only 73% of their senators voted for it? Thanks for proving my point.

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

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters cla [...]

When N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger addressed reporters last [...]

Big corporations and wealthy executives have been on quite a run. Corporate profits are at historic [...]

This week the ACLU of North Carolina announced an initiative to end cash bail in North Carolina. Reg [...]

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grow [...]

The post Bite the Apple & NC’s HB2 Legacy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions [...]

For those who pay only periodic attention to the ins and outs of lawmaking in the North Carolina Gen [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.