SCOTUS Voting Rights Act: Still One of America's Most Critical Civil Rights Laws


The case of Shelby County v. Holder pits Shelby County, Alabama against Attorney General Eric Holder on the issue of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, under which certain, mostly-Southern, states are required to get federal approval before changing their election laws because of their history of discrimination.

The American Civil Liberties Union (UCLU) has labelled the Act "one of our nation’s most critical federal civil rights statutes." The key element of the Act, Section 5, was most recently extended by Congress in 2006, with a congressional report arguing that if Section 5 is struck down, "racial and language minority citizens will be deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote, or will have their votes diluted, undermining the significant gains made by minorities in the last 40 years." And that should not be allowed to happen.