U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Suggests that Five Justices Will Vote to Invalidate Section Five’s Coverage Formula

Scotusblog’s eye-witness reporter in the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument (in Shelby County, Alabama v Holder) predicts that five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will vote to invalidate the coverage formula for section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act. If this happens, Congress would be faced with the question of whether to write a new coverage formula. If Congress did nothing, then presumably Section 5 could no longer be enforced. Section five of the Voting Rights Act is the part of the Act that requires certain states and local jurisdictions to get permission from the federal government before changing any election law or practice.

UPDATE: here is the transcript.


U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Suggests that Five Justices Will Vote to Invalidate Section Five’s Coverage Formula — No Comments

  1. One $ to any person, even Obama, who can find ANY mention of pre-clearance stuff in the Jan-Feb 1869 debates about the 15th Amdt.

    The Congress MORONS are unable to enforce ALL of the Amdts by a simple law –

    If any State officer, legislative, executive or judicial, violates any Amendment of the U.S.A. Constitution which applies to such officer, then he or she shall —
    (1) be guilty of a felony and suffer the DEATH penalty (or a mere 200 years in a federal prison),
    (2) be fined the maximum allowed under the 8th Amdt;
    (3) be liable in a civil action for unlimited damages by any aggrieved person due to any act or omission of such office in violation of any such Amendment.

    Total IDIOCY in the Congress since the 13th Amdt got ratified in Dec 1865 — compounded by the politically correct robot party hack SCOTUS folks in the 1960s.

  2. Always hard to tell from oral arguments. At least four Justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) will support section 5. The question is whether one more vote can be got. Usual suspect is Kennedy, though Roberts is on the table after ObamaCare. Scalia and Thomas are lost, as is likely Alito. If I had any money I would put it on 5 Justices sustaining section 5.

  3. I blog post about this says they could ask congress to reduce the preclearance burden. I suggested from 10 to 5 years. I was suprised that they took the case as there is the bailout option that all covered states and districts can use. Since Shelby failed their bailout test, they should have challenged the test.

    There is also the option that any group of voters can petition the Justice Department to review a state or district who they feel has a record that would make them covered by preclearance. I think you will start hearing about these types of cases in the future.

  4. Richard,

    You say “if Congress did nothing”….don’t you mean “when they do nothing”. Its a Republican run House of Representatives. Isn’t “do nothing” their motto?

  5. In 2006, when Congress had a Republican majority in both houses, the Voting Rights Act was renewed. The 2006 vote in the US Senate was unanimous to keep the act intact for another 25 years.

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