Tuesday, June 25, 2013
|U.S. Supreme Court Voting Rights Act opinion|
Key excerpts from today’s decision:
While one State waits months or years and expends funds to implement a validly enacted law, its neighbor can typically put the same law into effect immediately, through the normal legislative process.
Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so. Its failure to act leaves us today with no choice but to declare 4(b) unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.
Coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices. The formula captures States by reference to literacy tests and low voter registration and turnout in the 1960s and early 1970s. But such tests have been banned nationwide for over 40 years. And voter registration and turnout numbers in the covered States have risen dramatically in the years since. Racial disparity in those numbers was compelling evidence justifying the preclearance remedy and the coverage formula. There is no longer such a disparity.
States must beseech the Federal Government for permission to implement laws that they would otherwise have the right to enact and execute on their own...