A Paper on Shelby County V. Holder

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The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voting discrimination. With the condition to receive preclearance stated in section 5 of the Act from the Department of Justice before making any changes affecting the voting process, also came four other prohibitions. The prohibition of literacy test or other similar test or devices as a prerequisite to voter registration is one prevention. The requirement of jurisdictions with significant language minority populations to provide non-English ballots and oral voting instructions is another. Third is the prohibition of vote dilution, which is the remapping of districts to suppress the minority vote. The final provision was one of the most controversial of the Act. It established the federal oversight over the administrations of elections in areas where racism and discrimination thrived. This provision of the VRA was one of the most controversial because some citizens believed it was a major intrusion of States rights. The covered jurisdictions included nine states, most of them in the south. They are; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Since its enactment it has been renewed four times. The most recent time in 2006, was signed into law by President George W. Bush, and renewed the Act for twenty-five more years. Soon to be heard before the United States Supreme Court, is the court case Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, et al. Shelby County argues that with an African American president elected twice, the VRA of 1965 has outlived its necessity. However, the tactics used to discriminate racially against the African American vote and the civil rights of United States citizens warranted this intrusion which is the purpose of the federal government. The entanglement of racism and discrimination was so deep in the south; the federal government had to establish the oversight of elections in those states with a history of discrimination. After an


Cited: “Congress’s Power to Protect the Vote.” The New York Times, February 27, 2013, New York edition, sec A28. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/opinion/congresss-power-to-protect-the-vote.html? _r=0 (Accessed April 16, 3013). McPherson, James M. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. P. 3-22 Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, et al. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-96 (Accessed May 6, 2013). Sitkoff, Harvard. The Struggle for Black Equality: 1954-1980. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981. South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966). http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/383/301/case.html (Acccessed May 6, 2013). The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Public Law 88-352, 78, U.S. Statutes at Large 241 (1964), codified at U.S. Code 42 (1973). http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/2000a (Accessed April16, 2013). The Voting Rights Act of 1965, Public Law 89-110, 79, U.S. Statutes at Large 437 (1965), codified at U.S. Code 42 (1973 et seq). http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/chapter-20 (Accessed April 16, 2013). U.S. Constitution, amendment 15, sec. 1 and 2. http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxv (Accessed April 16, 2013). [ 4 ]. James M. McPherson, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 8. [ 7 ]. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Public Law 88-352, 78, U.S. Statutes at Large 241 (1964), codified at U.S. Code 42 (1973) http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/2000a (Accessed April16, 2013). [ 8 ]. Harvard, Sitkoff, The Struggle for Black Equality: 1954-1980 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), viii. [ 11 ]. Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, et al. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-96. (Accessed May 6, 2013). [ 12 ]. “Congress’s Power to Protect the Vote.” The New York Times, February 27, 2013, New York edition, sec A28 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/opinion/congresss-power-to-protect-the-vote.html?_r=0 (Accessed April 16, 3013) [ 13 ] [ 17 ]. South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966). http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/383/301/case.html (Acccessed May 6, 2013).

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