SCOTUS To Hear Major Voting Rights Case This Fall

Court will hear arguments in the fall about Alabama’s redistricting,
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The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been slowly whittled away over the last decade by the Supreme Court — and a case set to be heard in the fall could shrink the protections offered by the law to the smallest level yet.

The redistricting cycle preceding this year’s elections was the first in 50 years to take place without “preclearance” requirements under the law — a pillar of the Voting Rights Act as originally written, in which states with histories of discriminatory voting practices had to have new election laws or practices reviewed by a federal court or the Department of Justice.

Chief Justice John Roberts ruled for a divided Supreme Court nine years ago, in Shelby County v. Holder, to strike down the part of the VRA that determined which states and counties were subject to preclearance.

Now, a still-more conservative Court will hear arguments in the fall about Alabama’s redistricting, in a case targeting the other central piece of the Voting Rights Act: Section 2, which prohibits voting practices and procedures that discriminate on the basis of race. The result of the case could make it more difficult for minority communities to claim new election laws are discriminatory — and raise the bar for what has to happen to get relief from the courts. Read more.

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