Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Supreme Court Strikes Down Core Part of Voting Rights Act

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Americans show disapproval of The Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote to strike down a critical section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act – a provision that played a vital role in securing the right to vote for millions of citizens.

“Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent,” said President Barack Obama.

The critical section — Section 4  — was originally designed to prevent certain states and districts, many of them with histories of racial discrimination, from suppressing voting from certain racial groups.  The court ruled that the current formula that determines which states are covered by Section 5 – the “preclearance” requirement – is unconstitutional, effectively eliminating Section 5 enforcement for the time being.

Under this law, those affected states needed approval from the Department of Justice before changing voting laws. Without the preclearance provision, thousands of Latino and minority voters would have been unable to cast an effective vote in the November 2012 elections. In their decision, the Justices said that it is up to Congress to come up with a new formula to ensure there is no voter discrimination.

“Today’s decision is a blow to democracy,” said Enid Trucios-Haynes, a professor of law at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville-Kentucky. “Minority voters in places with a record of discrimination are now at greater risk of being disenfranchised than they have been in decades.”

NBC Latino

Huffington Post