In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The preclearance requirement in Section 5 was upheld, but the map of regions used to determine which areas of the country required to submit reapportionment proposals to the Department of Justice in the VRA’s Section 4 was struck down. The Supreme Court left it up to Congress to fix what they determined to be a broken system.

The opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington’s approval for election changes.

From NBC News:

Under the law, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, nine mostly Southern states must get permission from the Justice Department or a special panel of three federal judges before they make changes. The rule also applies to 12 cities and 57 counties elsewhere.

The act is considered the most important piece of civil rights legislation ever passed. Congress has renewed it four times, most recently in 2006, with overwhelming margins in both houses.

More updates to follow!

  • omfg

    waiting for scalia to kick the bucket…

    i’m hoping someone who is not a republican wins the next presidential election. one of the main reasons i would not vote for a republican president is because of the supreme court appointments (i hope) are upcoming in the next ten years.

  • MLI

    Combine that with the fact that supreme court judges have lifetime appointments and have the ability to influence in one way or another nearly every aspect of our lives, it is crucial that we not only turn out to vote for president, but also for congress (so we can make sure that nominees for the supreme court, and various cabinet positions, and federal court judges are confirmed)

  • BeanBean

    Seriously, I blame the black man. Notice the only minority that didn’t support section 4 was Thomas? The women, one Latina voted to keep it! I don’t expect white men to care as much about this as a minority, but a black man voting against the Voting Rights Act is pathetic? How many slave rebellions, inventions, business ideas, were sold out to whites by an Uncle Tom???

  • Rob

    I guess somebody wasn’t happy with the black turn out in the last election. I saw this coming America is changing and some people are trying to slow down the process.

  • Drew-Shane

    I would like to see this “formula”. Where does one begin? Race. Gender. Where is “School House Rock”? Sufferin’ til suffrage.

  • Anthony

    When all of the racists think about the election of Obama in the future, they just might say “the darkest hour is just before dawn”
    since a big chunk of the Voting Rights Act has been struck down in reaction to his victories.

    I guess Roberts will get the last laugh for Obama voting against his nomination to the court.

  • Rob

    I think this will energizes people more than anything to fight back. 5-4 vote smell like the Koch Brothers at work.

  • the miller (@rakillers)

    A green light to gerrymander and suppress voting just in time for the 2014 midterms. A new LOW for Democracy !! Limiting the rights of minorities to vote, is an assault on democrac that they have waged in every national election for decades now. Simply put: Republicans can no longer win a Presidenial election fairly, so this will help their cause immensely.

    Thomas will sleep well tonight knowing he stuck it to those no good minorities. You know one day that voodoo is going to wear off and Thomas is going to wake up one day and realize he was black this whole time.

    The republican’s nominees to the SCOTUS are now systematically undoing decades of progress for minorities and women. IT IS TIME TO FIGHT BACK !
    If you sat on your duff because “Ah, it’s all the same. My vote doesn’t matter. I’m not going to waste my time standing in line.” — now you know that it does matter. The Terrible five were all appointed by Reagan and the Bushes. This is their legacy to you and you aided them in doing it by being somewhere else rather than where you should have been — namely standing in line at a polling precinct determined to exercise your right to vote. And now, for some, that right is potentially in jeopardy.
    Yes, it does matter where you are on voting days. All voting days. It matters a lot. Let’s show them what we are made of by going to the poll in 2014 !

  • Dalili

    Well said!!!

  • omfg

    a black man raised in jim crow south to boot.

    i’m not usually one to say someone is not black enough, yada yada, but he’s a disgrace and ought to know better. a damn uncle thomas if there ever was one.

  • Lynne

    Even a pessimist like me didn’t foresee the attack on voting rights that the Republicans unleashed.

    Republicans love to view themselves as true patriots, yet they turn around and commit this vile act against one of the fundamental rights of our democracy: the right to vote.

    I wish this attack on voting rights would mobilize a movement. No, the erosion of voting rights is not a sexy issue, but it matters to major portions of this society.

  • MLI

    “You know one day that voodoo is going to wear off and Thomas is going to wake up one day and realize he was black this whole time.”

    This quote reminds me of when Uncle Ruckus got tested on the Boondocks and found out he was 102% African with a 2% margin of error.

    All of these strategies that they are using to disenfranchise voters in the short term will pay back dividends against them in the long term. 2012 was just the tip of the iceberg if the republican party can’t figure out how to treat minorities and women as equal human beings.

  • Marisa

    Some folks can’t help showing their asses, as citizens of this country we have earned the right the vote, this should not even be debatable. Once again keep saying slavery was over 150 years ago get over it the world has changed blah blah blah. I’m proud of all the people that came out during the last election and stayed in those lines and didn’t go home, when they started their shenanigans. We all know the ReThugs are pushing this and they wonder why they are radioactive to blacks and minorities.

    At least with the Democrats no matter how shady they can be, I can find some over their willing to do right. Just look at that ReThug who had to resign for the filthy email he sent about the black former Miss America Erica Harold, she’s running for a seat as a ReThug. Dude called the lady a quota, hooker, a prop. Now she’s bi-racial just like Pres. Obama and running for their party and still the ReThugs still can’t help themselves. Also Clarence Thomas is a disgrace, for the many black people who came to his defense, I remember when Dr. Anita Hill called him out on his work behavior, lots of black people thought he was being railroaded, hmmp he proved that he wasn’t sh$t then and aint sh%t now.

  • BeanBean

    That’s what I’m saying!!! He knows real discrimination, yet he wants to pretend like he deserved it. Honestly, there are blacks who truly believe they’re inferior to whites. Uncle Rukus is a real person.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    remove EVERY republican from EVERY office…..VOTE (while U still can)

  • WhatIThink

    Another nail in the coffin for the black political class in America. We have no more black Senators and soon black congressmen will become even more of a minority. But seeing all the things they have done for their constituents I cannot say I have sympathy.

    And the bigger picture is that the demography of the black population in the U.S. is changing. Cities and boros that were once majority black are now reversing the pattern of 40 years ago and becoming more majority white or “other”. And blacks are no longer the main “minority” in the U.S. any longer.

    In fact, black people are not even being considered as the face of civil rights any longer, as they are being replaced by LGBT, other minorities and women as the face of civil rights (only see the Affirmative Action case in front of the supreme court from yesterday).

    Overall, the statistics for African Americans have only worsened under the nations first black president and if that tells us anything, they will only continue to get worse, as the flimsy political class that only made token gestures in the past wont exist in its current state much longer.

  • Selma Remembered

    What’s more depressing? That the Supreme Court weakened our Voting Rights Act or that an article on “Self-Love” has 100+ comments while this one has less than 20?

    Our Narcissism could ruin us all! SMH!

  • gettothechoppa

    You are telling the truth.

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