Supreme Court limits federal oversight of Voting Rights Act
June 25th, 2013
10:12 AM ET
9 years ago

Supreme Court limits federal oversight of Voting Rights Act

Washington (CNN) - A deeply divided Supreme Court has limited use of a key provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, in effect invalidating the key enforcement provision that applies to all or parts of 15 states with past history of voter discrimination.

The case involved Section 5, which gives federal authorities open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered areas - which include all or parts of 15 states - must be "pre-cleared" with Washington.


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    This should be a simple ruling. I'm dying to see which idiot votes to strike it down.

    June 25, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Sniffit

    5-4, Roberts wrote it. The GOP/Teatrolls controlling state governments across the country will now throw a party and begin enacting a wave of voting laws designed to disenfranchise "undesirable" voting blocks. Watch.

    June 25, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "Where discrimination doesn't exist"

    Right...places like PA and OH that don't even have to comply with Section 5 and yet were enacting voting laws blatantly designed to hamper minority registration and turnout, etc.? This is ideological mess from Roberts, who is famous for his attitude that anything that attempts to even the playing field for minorities is "special treatment" and therefore "discriminatory." This will result in riots when the GOP/Teatrolls across the country go bananas trying to "fix" their "demographic problem." My guess is they relied on it only applying to certain areas as opposed to across the the fix is to make Section 5 or something similar apply to the entire country, regardless of an area's history of discrimination. The GOP/Teatrolls will block any attempt to do so, so I say try it and hand them the rope.

    June 25, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Data Driven


    Seconded. The hydra-headed fight to keep themselves in power continues.

    June 25, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. don in albuquerque

    The Place is Here,
    The Time is NOW!

    Les Miserables

    June 25, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Dallas

    Well, the tea party radical right has won this one! Roberts has no idea what he has done. Shame on him, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy. Fairness and equality in this country has gone by the wayside with this decision. God save us all from these fools!

    June 25, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    "But opponents of the provision counter that it should not be enforced in areas where it can be argued that racial discrimination no longer exists."
    Don't they have to prove that discrimination no longer exists? Just saying it is so, does not make it so. Personally, I think the Section 5 provision should be applied everywhere, and left in place. What is unconstitutional about making sure that voting laws are fair?

    What this ruling actually does is clear the way for Voter ID laws. Section 5 was the insurmountable obstacle.

    June 25, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, which place is going to cut people off first? Is it going to be some place in the South or in a place like Arizona? If they are expecting people to pay for ID's that they couldn't afford in the first place in order to vote, then there are going to be a lot more poor people that can't. Who are the poor? More often (but not entirely) minorities like Black and Latino are the poor.

    June 25, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    This ruling makes poll taxes legal, folks.

    June 25, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Think its time for a Two Million Man march?

    June 25, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Stuffit

    The Civil Rights division should be more concerned with fraudulent voting.

    June 25, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. The Elephant in the Room

    1.) Ralph Nader should be held fully responsible for this. His arrogance running for President in 2000 made this likely because he siphoned off enough votes from Gore to allow the SELECTION of Bush. It gave us Roberts AND Alito which gave us this outcome.

    2.) I have tired of a court that repeatedly seeks to roll back / repeal past PRECIDENTS from the Congress and/or SCOTUS [AA, Roe-v-Wade, VRA, etc.] Since the "conservatives" seem to think the evolving membershup of the court can be used to reshape opinion, the entire Obama coalition of women, asians, hispanics, gays, blacks, lower income whites & thinking white men [of all incomes] will have no choice but to elect Democrats as President through 2024 so that activist Conservative judges are purged.
    3.) The VRA has worked. In the face of voter suppression efforts in 2012 it is ludicrious for the SCOTUS to say that we can trust states to do the right thing. America has a tradition of putting the onus on the "rapist" to conduct themselves properly, not putting the burden on the rape victim.
    4.) When we had a functional Congress we exhaustively reviewed and decided on a corrective plan. That plan did not impose a formula; it simply force a review of changes. What was wrong with that?

    It`s time to REMAKE the SCOTUS.

    June 25, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    This ruling makes poll taxes legal, folks.
    It most certainly does not. Stop being a drama queen.

    June 25, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Anthony

    Conservatives have no idea that discrimination still exists, unless it happens to them. They know all about being discriminated by the IRS. Of course, the IRS manager in Cincinnati, who was a conservative Republican, was actually trying to streamline 501c4 applications for Tea Party groups.

    June 25, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    As if gerrymandering and voter suppression wasn't enough, now the radical right-wing Neo-con activists who legislate from the bench tip the scales even further to benefit their dying party. Our country isn't following the path of Socialism, it's blindly following the path of Conservatism, which is a toxic, diseased, failed ideology that any true American patriot should be willing to fight against. Conservatives hate freedom, liberty, and justice for all, they're anti-minority, anti-women, anti-senior, anti-student, anti-middle class and poor, anti-environment, and anti-peace. They should prepare themselves for the consequences of their Taliban-like extremism.

    June 25, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. rs

    I can't see this one. Whgere there are Republicans in charge, there is restriction of voting rights and gerrymandering.

    June 25, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    It is about time that the Feds stop discriminating against the southern states, because they simply wanted to secede.

    June 25, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. CB FL

    The Supreme Court just gave the HOR back to the Dems. the minority will be out in full force to vote the GOP out.

    June 25, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Steveo

    Both parties gerrymander! If some of you where not in your party-based, induced coma, you would know that!

    June 25, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. California

    Why do democrats want non citizens to vote?

    June 25, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Guess

    Well we allnknew they had to getrid of section five, so they killed four, and in effect killed 5. the states will do the right thing. like ohio, penn, florida, this will happen in every repub state, every one of them, lets see the exuses given, and accepted by the gop house.story time, if you ever wondered if the gop really lies about everything, just pay attention, it will be sickening at best

    June 25, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    Voila` ! Racial Discrimination re:voting in America is now over. So declared a Majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Do NOT pay any attention to those long lines in "certain" parts of Fla. or Cleveland ,OH.

    June 25, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Thanks for making the US the new Cuba! You have just taken our country back per 60s. Lite paul is having a climax as we speak.

    June 25, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "This ruling makes poll taxes legal, folks."
    It most certainly does not. Stop being a drama queen.
    I don't call you nor anyone else names. Don't start.

    Section 5 contained the language that made poll taxes illegal, Fair. They struck it down....henceforth poll taxes are not outlawed, which means they are legal.

    June 25, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Michael

    This is hilarious!

    June 25, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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