Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Statement on the Official Ruling Of The United States Supreme Court Case of Shelby County Vs. Holder And the Voting Rights Act Of 1965

On June 25, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder and struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In a 5-4 decision, the court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 4 established a formula to determine the states and jurisdictions with the most egregious histories of voter disenfranchisement. With Section 4 struck down, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires preclearance of changes in voting laws, has been neutralized. Congress now has the ability to rewrite Section 4.

NBCSL President Joe Armstrong (TN) issues the following statement:

"The Supreme Court has turned the clock back on civil rights in the United States. In recent years, this nation has seen an incredible uptick in state and local laws solely intended to suppress and disenfranchise voters. But, instead of ruling to protect all voters, the justices have acted to undermine safeguards that are key to our democracy. This is clearly a step in the wrong direction.

NBCSL represents the constituents most affected by this recent Supreme Court decision. We will therefore lead the charge in working with Congress to swiftly revise the Section 4 formulas so that we may re-establish critical voting protections. We stand ready to work closely with Congressional counterparts and national partners to create a strong, thorough, and updated formula that protects voting rights for all Americans. There is no time to wait."
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