Supreme Court To Reconsider Minority Protection In Voting Rights Act

Nov 12, 2012

The Supreme Court says its going to review whether Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Section 5 requires that certain states and counties receive federal pre-clearance of laws that could potentially impact minority voting rights.

The Hill reports

The Supreme Court said Friday that it will consider whether laws designed to protect minority voters are unconstitutional. The announcement comes just days after an election that demonstrated the increasing electoral clout of black and Hispanic voters, who helped propel President Obama to a second term. It's against that backdrop that the court will consider rolling back part of the Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965, to prevent states from disenfranchising minorities. Specifically, the justices will hear a challenge to the section of the Voting Rights Act that requires certain states with a history of discrimination to get permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

Five counties in Florida currently fall under Voting Rights Act and require federal pre-clearance for new voting laws. Those counties include Monroe, Collier, Hillsborough, Hendry and Hardee. Last year, former Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning sued the federal government claiming Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional.