U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act


Yesterday, June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), with Chief Justice John Roberts writing in the majority opinion that the formula used for the section's preclearance requirement was unconstitutional because it relies upon "decades-old data and eradicated practices" to identify which states and municipalities are subject to receiving federal approval before changing any of their election laws.

In Shelby County v. Holder, the majority did not rule on Section 5, which establishes the preclearance requirement itself, but said that Congress would need to come up with another formula based on current conditions regarding discriminatory voting practices.

For more information, read the full decision.

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