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Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Rights Act Provisions

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, about the Shelby County v. Holder, a voting rights case in Alabama. Charles White, the national field director for the NAACP is second from right and Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is at right. The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, about the Shelby County v. Holder, a voting rights case in Alabama. Charles White, the national field director for the NAACP is second from right and Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is at right. The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

In a 5-4 decision, the justices invalidated a key section of the Voting Rights Act, effectively striking down federal oversight of voting laws in nine states.

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Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.

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New York Times “Chief Justice Roberts said that Congress remained free to try to impose federal oversight on states where voting rights were at risk, but must do so based on contemporary data. When the law was last renewed, in 2006, Congress relied on data from decades before. The chances that the current Congress could reach agreement on where federal oversight is required are small, most analysts say.”


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