Section 4 of the VRA

Topics: United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Pages: 2 (611 words) Published: April 6, 2014

We affirm resolved: “The supreme court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.” Whoever proves the Supreme Court’s decision based on constitutionality wins. The round shall not stray to the effectiveness or benefits of Section 4 and instead should focus on constitutionality.

Contention 1: Section 4 is unconstitutional because it is outdated and fails strict scrutiny. A. The preclearance formula is outdated and cannot be applied to states today. According to US Department of Justice, “Section 4’s  first element in the formula was whether the state maintained  [literacy] "test or device.” The second element is if it can be determined that less than 50 percent of persons of voting age were registered to in 1964.” 9 states met these conditions in 1965 so they were placed under section 4. Regarding the literacy test requirement, Civil Rights Organization proves,  literacy tests have been banned nationwide because of Sections 4 and 201 .  The coverage formula only applies to states with literacy test discrimination, but according to NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) Org states, “A total of thirty-four states have passed voter ID laws,” showing voter IDs are modern discrimination . Regarding the condition of whether or not 50% of voters were registered, the United States Elections Project [and the Department of Public and International Affairs]explain, Hawaii is the only state with voting +turnout less than 50%.

The impact is since none of the covered states meet any of the preclearance formula conditions today it is outdated and fails the strict scrutiny test. B. Coverage Formula fails Strict Scrutiny
According to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, “Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review, courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws that involve a suspect classification, including race.” According to US Legal, The purpose, [of Section 4] must be "narrowly tailored" to the...
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