The Voting Rights Act

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has essentially been nullified by a major decision from the Supreme Court.  The Court overturned Section 4 of the Act in a 5-4 decision split along ideological lines.  The decision is being seen as a challenge to the mission of the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965.  Section Five had been under particular scrutiny over the last couple months as for the first time in a number of years the necessity of the provision has been challenged.

The Supreme Court decision does not overturn Section 5 directly, but for all intents and purposes it renders it obsolete.  The decision itself overturned Section 4 which set guidelines for what state or municipality should fall under its jurisdiction.  With no perquisites to fall under, states are free to make their own election laws without clearance from the Department of Justice.  That is until Congress makes new requirements in order for states to be subject to the guidelines of Section 5.

http://www.billtrack50.com/blog/civil-rights/the-repeal-of-section-4/

The court divided along ideological lines, and the two sides drew sharply different lessons from the history of the civil rights movement and the nation’s progress in rooting out racial discrimination in voting. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination.

“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/supreme-court-ruling.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Today Pasadena is a mostly working-class Hispanic suburb that looks as hard-ridden in some pockets as the mechanical bull that bucked John Travolta. Gilley’s burned down years ago. Now a federal lawsuit accuses the town’s white councilmembers of leading a discriminatory plan to turn back the clock.

Pasadena is preparing to change the makeup of its city council in a way that city fathers hope fosters new development, but that some Hispanics allege dilutes their influence. The case could become a test of the Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down most of the federal Voting Rights Act, giving cities in many Southern states new latitude to change election laws affecting minorities without first getting federal approval.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/287344191.html

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: