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Monday, June 22, 2009

Supreme Court maintains the Voting Rights Act… but with one dissent

As reported in a previous article, the Supreme Court had been considering a case, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, that challenged the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Today, the Supreme Court released its decision which keeps the Voting Rights Act intact.

As explained in a statement released by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund,

“The Court's ruling today ensures that minority voters will continue to have the safeguards provided by the Section 5 preclearance process. The Court expanded the number of places that can seek to "bailout" or exempt themselves from preclearance. However, no Section 5-covered jurisdiction can do so without demonstrating a clean bill of health for a ten-year period.”

Although some observers predicted that the case might be decided on a 5 to 4 vote, as is often the situation on civil rights matters, the vote in this case was a surprising 8 to 1.

So, who, you may ask, was the lone dissenter? Who was the voice in the wilderness declaring that this voting rights stuff is overrated? Click here for the full article...

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