In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The preclearance requirement in Section 5 was upheld, but the map of regions used to determine which areas of the country required to submit reapportionment proposals to the Department of Justice in the VRA’s Section 4 was struck down. The Supreme Court left it up to Congress to fix what they determined to be a broken system.
The coverage formula in Section 4 is essentially no longer in effect. The regions covered in Section 4 were mostly isolated in the Southern United States, but the section covered regions in states like South Dakota, Alaska, and even New York City. Section 4 also provides for areas covered by the Act to seek a “bail out” from having to submit to preclearance and prove that they have made substantial strides in preventing racial discrimination.
Congress is advised by the Court to devise a new formula to determine which areas are going to be subject to preclearance in the future.
The Court was expected to look unfavorably on Section 5 which required region to submit their redistricting proposals to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. That provision of the VRA was upheld by the Court.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org