The Voting Rights Act "Formula" Is Under Review


Executive Summary

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, and considered whether a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “VRA”), which requires certain jurisdictions to obtain prior approval for changes in election laws, is unconstitutional. Most observers expect the Supreme Court to invalidate the provision in June. Such a decision would likely force Congress to revisit the issue in greater detail before any state or local jurisdictions can be required to seek prior approval of their election laws.

Background on the Preclearance Requirement

Section 5 of the VRA (commonly referred to as the “Preclearance Requirement”) requires certain jurisdictions to obtain prior approval from the U.S. Department of Justice or the court in Washington, D.C. before enforcing any changes in election laws.

The VRA contains a formula for determining which jurisdictions are subject to the Preclearance Requirement. Under the current formula, all or portions of 16 states are subject to the Preclearance Requirement: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.