Video | Supreme Court Hears Challenges to “Section 5” Of The Voting Rights Act



The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is intended to end a requirement forcing Alabama and other southern states to get Department of Justice approval to change its voting procedures and electoral maps.  The SCOTUS decision is expected in June.

The 2006 Reauthorization of Section 5

The decision to reauthorize Section 5 came at the heals of twenty-one hearings and over ninety witness testimonies, resulting in over 1,500 pages of records. Articulated by Spencer Overton, a Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School: 

“Congress did not simply rely on the existing coverage formula, but instead was guided by the extensive evidentiary record that showed contemporary discrimination in voting remains concentrated in covered jurisdictions.” 

Read the aguments AGAINST and FOR SECTION 5 


NPR: Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Voting Rights Act by NINA TOTENBERG LISTEN HERE.

Seriously, the south has a nerve to say they’ve “changed,” when Florida one of the largest states, did all it could to suppress BLACK VOTERS.  And let’s not forget about the efforts to change voting laws in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Here’s a recap of what’s happening in Alabama and why the state feels it’s changed.

Insight: From Alabama, an epic challenge to voting rights

Daily Beast:  Supreme Court likely to strike down the voting rights act section 5?

From the Shelby County argument- follow the challenge here on SCOTUS BLOG.

By  on Feb 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

Following through on the deep constitutional concerns stated in its priorNorthwest Austin decision, a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes.The vote seems quite likely to be five to four.

The more liberal members pressed both the narrow argument that an Alabama county was not a proper plaintiff because it inevitably would be covered and the broader argument that there was a sufficient record to justify the current formula. But the more conservative majority was plainly not persuaded by either point. It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure. More analysis soon.

We’ll post any videos or photos as available.

Do you think the SCOTUS will uphold Ssection 5 of the Voting Rights Act?

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36 Responses to Video | Supreme Court Hears Challenges to “Section 5” Of The Voting Rights Act

  1. Call for the Impeachment of Justice Antonin Scalia for violating the oath of the office.

    Justice Scalia stated that the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn’t anything to be gained politically from voting against it. The oath of office requires that I he remain impartial and protect all persons rights equally under the law. His statement indicates he not only is not impartial, but also is trying to circumvent the constitution. The legislature put in place laws to protect right to vote for all Americans. His statements are political in nature and indicates that it is his duty to circumvent the actions of the two other branches of government.

  2. Tweet:”Scalia should forget the black robe and simply wear his white hood to court.” – Democratic Underground

  3. Ametia says:

    Congress Honors Rosa Parks While the Supreme Court Targets the Voting Rights Act
    Ari Berman on February 27, 2013 – 3:45 PM ET –

    At 11 am, as Congress unveiled a statue honoring Rosa Parks, the civil rights leaders of today (Including Rep. John Lewis, who nearly died in Selma during “Bloody Sunday”) were gathered inside the Supreme Court, listening to a challenge to the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act. The stark contrast illustrated the profound contradictions of American democracy when it comes to race and political power—the progress we’ve made has always been met by equally intense efforts to roll back that progress. And that remains true today, especially on February 27, 2013.

    “To honor Rosa Parks in the fullest manner, each of us must do our part to protect that which has been gained, defend the great documents upon which those gains were obtained and continue our pursuit of a more perfect union,” Congressman James Clyburn, who grew up in segregated South Carolina in the 1940s and ’50s, said at the statue unveiling. Parks herself was present when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in the Capitol rotunda on August 6, 1965. Twelve years before famously refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Parks attempted to register to vote. She was denied three times, and had to pass a literacy test and pay a poll tax in 1945 just to exercise what should have been her fundamental right. That’s the way America was before the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

    – See more at:


  4. Ametia says:

    Sotomayor, Kagan ready for battles

    By Dana Milbank,

    For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.

    As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan

    The acerbic Scalia, the court’s longest-serving justice, got his latest comeuppance Wednesday morning, as he tried to make the absurd argument that Congress’s renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House did not mean that Congress actually supported the act. Scalia, assuming powers of clairvoyance, argued that the lawmakers were secretly afraid to vote against this “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

    Kagan wasn’t about to let him get away with that. In a breach of decorum, she interrupted his questioning of counsel to argue with him directly. “Well, that sounds like a good argument to me, Justice Scalia,” she said. “It was clear to 98 senators, including every senator from a covered state, who decided that there was a continuing need for this piece of legislation.”

    Scalia replied to Kagan, “Or decided that perhaps they’d better not vote against it, that there’s nothing, that there’s no — none of their interests in voting against it.”

  5. Ametia says:

    Scalia: Reauthorized Voting Rights Act was ‘perpetuation of racial entitlement’
    Feb 28, 2013 9:38 AM CST


    BOB: “Kind of like the second amendment. The court should strike that down too. It’s based on outdated data. If you’re going to be a judicial activist and neuter the 15th, might as well go all out.

  6. rikyrah says:

    the opening segment of Rachel Maddow was excellent.

  7. Ametia says:

    Thank you, Obama Diary!

    • Ametia says:

      Scalia and the Roberts court will not get away with attempts at declaring RACISM is over in the south or anywhere in America. THERE WILL BE WAR, if they overturn SECTION 5.

  8. Shady_Grady says:

    Scalia is a profoundly hateful man but I think that his POV may carry the day.

  9. Ametia says:

    Leutisha, where are you? If Unca Clarence T. decides in favor of axing Section 5 from the Voting Rights Act…. Whew! Hold me back, somebody, HOLD.ME.BACK.

  10. Ametia says:

    Nothing’s changed in Alabama. NOTHING. The racists are alive and kicking.

  11. Ametia says:

    Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’
    By Nicole Flatow and Ian Millhiser on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:52 am


    There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyer’s lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”


    The comment came as part of a larger riff on a comment Scalia made the last time the landmark voting law was before the justices. Noting the fact that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization passed 98-0 when it was before the Senate in 2006, Scalia claimed four years ago that this unopposed vote actually undermines the law: “The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there.”

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