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The requirement currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian Americans, Alaskan Natives and Hispanics.
"The America that elected and reelected Barack Obama as its first African American president is far different than when the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965. It is unconstitutional," said Edward Blum, director of the not for profit Project on Fair Representation, which is funding the challenges to the voting rights law and affirmative action.
The new appeal from Shelby County, Ala., near Birmingham, says state and local governments covered by the law have made significant progress and no longer should be forced to live under oversight from Washington.
2006, when a Republican led Congress overwhelmingly approved and President George W. Bush signed a 25 year extension.
The justices said they will examine whether the formula under which states are covered is outdated because it relies on 40 year old data. By some measures, states covered by the law are outperforming some that are not.
Supreme Court to hear Shelby County challenge to part of Voting Rights Act
The advance approval, or preclearance requirement, was adopted in the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to give federal officials a potent tool to defeat persistent efforts to keep blacks from voting.
The court acted three days after a diverse coalition of voters propelled President Barack Obama to a second term in the White House.
several new lawsuits.
Since the court's decision in 2009, Congress has not addressed potential problems identified by the court. Meanwhile, the law's opponents sensed its vulnerability and filed Saucony X End
The high court considered the same issue three years ago but sidestepped what Chief Justice Saucony Grid 8000 Green John Roberts then called "a difficult constitutional question."
With a look at affirmative action in higher education already on the agenda, the court is putting a spotlight on race by re examining the ongoing necessity of laws and programs aimed at giving racial minorities access to major areas of American life from which they once were systematically excluded.
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"This is a term in which many core pillars of civil rights and pathways to opportunity hang in the balance," said Debo Adegbile, acting president and director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
of the law said there is a continuing need for it and pointed to the Justice Department's efforts to block voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas, as well as a redistricting plan in Texas that a federal court found discriminated against the state's large and growing Hispanic population. "What we know even more clearly now than we did when the court last considered this question is that a troubling strain of obstructing the path to the ballot box remains a part of our society," Adegbile said.
In an order Friday, the justices agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the landmark Voting Rights Act that requires all or parts of 16 states with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.
Addressing those challenges, lower courts have concluded that a history of discrimination and more recent efforts to harm minority voters justify continuing federal oversight.
The case probably will be argued in February or March, with a decision expected by late June.
The provision was a huge success, and Congress periodically has renewed it over the years. The most recent occasion was in Reebok Kids Shoes
Tuesday's election results also provide an interesting backdrop for the court's action. Americans re elected the nation's first African American president. Exit polls across the country indicated Obama won the votes of more than 70 percent of Hispanics and more than 90 percent of blacks. In Alabama, however, the exit polls showed Obama won only about 15 percent of the state's white voters. In neighboring Mississippi, the numbers were even smaller, at 10 percent, the surveys found.
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