Today’s holding in Shelby County v. Holder, in Plain English: Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.
Means that more than a dozen states no longer have to ask the federal government for permission to make any voting changes, including moving a polling place across the street.
How did 4 justices not support this?
“the racial gap in voter registration and turnout
[was] lower in the States originally covered by §5 than it
[was] nationwide.” Northwest Austin Municipal Util. Dist.
No. One v. Holder, 557 U. S. 193, 203–204 (2009). Since
that time, Census Bureau data indicate that AfricanAmerican voter turnout has come to exceed white voter
turnout in five of the six States originally covered by §5,
with a gap in the sixth State of less than one half of one
percent. See Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau, Reported Voting and Registration, by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin, for States (Nov. 2012)
Unfortunately I expect the media to somehow spin it as racist or backwards.
quote:Question.....are/were the southern states unable to pass voter id requirements because of the existing requirements/permission from the DOJ?
It was a really, really longstanding law