Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Breaking: Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act

Supremecourtjustices 2012 032620121

    The Supreme Court has just struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act in a 5-to-4 ruling. The court ruled in favor of officials from Shelby County, Alabama, in finding that a formula in the act that determines which states need federal approval to change voting laws is invalid.

    “Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. It cannot rely simply on the past,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority.

    "In the Court’s view, the very success of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy," wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the dissent. "There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act. The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process."

    According to Reuters:

    "The court, split on ideological lines, did not go as far as striking down Section 5 of the law, known as the preclearance provision, which requires certain states to get approval from the Justice Department or a federal court before making election-law changes. But a majority did invalidate Section 4 of the act, which sets the formula for states covered by Section 5 and was based on historic patterns of discrimination against minority voters. Although Section 5 is technically left intact, it is effectively nullified, at least for the near future, as Congress would now need to pass new legislation setting a new formula before it can be applied again."

    Read the full opinion

    Read analysis on ruling from ScotusBlog


    Watch past coverage of the Voting Rights Act from Democracy Now!

    A Racial Entitlement? Supreme Court Threatens Voting Rights Act, One of Civil Rights Era’s Key Gains

    NAACP: New Election Commission Needed to Address Voter Suppression, Attacks on Voting Rights

    Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, on the Struggle to Win, and Now Protect, Voting Rights in U.S.


    The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

    Non-commercial news needs your support

    We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
    Please do your part today.

    Make a donation