Impact of US Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act decision
Written by  // Tuesday, 25 June 2013 10:53 //

roberts CJThe Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a key enforcement part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the map that determines which states must get federal permission before they change their voting laws.


The decision could be a sea-change for civil rights.

According to Chief Justice John Roberts for the 5-4 conservative majority, "Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to the current conditions," .

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissented wrote "Recognizing that large progress has been made, Congress determined, based on a voluminous record, that the scourge of discrimination was not yet extir¬pated,".

"In my judgment, the Court errs egregiously by overriding Congress' decision," she wrote.

Here what experts and others are saying about
The ruling, a 5-4 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts, leaves the future of the law deeply uncertain because it will be up to a sharply divided Congress to redraw the map, if it can agree on one at all.
“In practice, in reality, it’s probably the death knell of this provision,” said Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog and a Supreme Court analyst for NBC News.
The Voting Rights Act requires nine states with a history of discrimination at the polls, mostly in the South, to get approval from the Justice Department or a special panel of judges before they change their voting laws. The rule also applies to 12 cities and 57 counties elsewhere.

"The Supreme Court has effectively gutted one of the nation's most important and effective civil rights laws," said John Greenbaum, chief counsel for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "Minority voters in places with a record of discrimination are now at greater risk of being disenfranchised than they have been in decades. Today's decision is a blow to democracy."

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