Voting Rights Act round-up

February 27, 2013

protect my voteThis morning the Supreme Court heard arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case that will determine the future of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Immediate reaction after the arguments skewed pessimistic, with many observers believing that the Court would strike down Section 5. However, as Jon Greenbaum noted on our briefing yesterday, the same pessimism emerged the last time the Court took up the case in 2009 and the law was upheld, so it might be best not to read too far into the arguments today.

One of the most talked about portions of oral argument was Justice Antonin Scalia saying that the Voting Rights Act is the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” despite the presentation of evidence that discrimination is still occurring, despite the presence of the law. Demos says that even since 2009, when the Court last upheld the law, jurisdictions covered under Section 5 have engaged in explicit racial discrimination, including voter ID laws and cutting back on early voting.

Before and during the arguments, advocates gathered in front of the Court to rally in support of the Voting Rights Act. Advancement Project posted some pictures on their Facebook page.

Read more reactions on today’s arguments & more on the Voting Rights Act:

Image via Advancement Project’s Facebook page