Section 5 of Voting Rights Act Before Supreme Court Today

Voting Rights Act passed by Congress in 1965 ensured that states could not get around the new law by coming up with more changes to local voting rules. For those areas that had historically discriminated against people, the law required that they check with the feds before making changes to their voting practices. This part of the law is called Section 5.

Section 5 was supposed to be temporary. It was supposed to transition the states into the new law and ensure that they were all implementing it correctly. As President Johnson said [1] at the time, “if any county anywhere in this nation does not want federal intervention, it need only open its polling places to all of its people.”

The problem is, that federal intervention continues to this day. And that is what the Supreme Court is considering today—the outdated Section 5, not the whole Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Act provides “broad and powerful protection against discrimination.”  But Section 5 outlived its purpose decades ago—and the federal government is still forcing some voting jurisdictions to justify all of their local rule changes.

What was originally intended to safeguard individual liberty has become a way for the feds to attack state liberty. For the Department of Justice and many activists, Section 5 merely exists to bully local authorities.

The Heritage Foundation says that if Section 5 were struck down, “The only change would be to curb the abuses of federal bureaucrats and check the power and influence of the liberal activist groups that rely on Section 5 to enforce their agendas.”

Read more.

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