Reports from Oral Argument Trickle In: ALL Look Bad for Section 5

NBC News: NBC’s Pete Williams reported after the oral argument, “I think it’s a safe prediction to say that the Voting Rights Act, as it now stands, is not going to survive. The question is: how far will the Supreme Court go in striking parts of it down?”

Bloomberg: “The skeptics today included the likely swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who faulted Congress for relying on a decades- old formula for determining which states were covered. Kennedy said if Congress is going to “single out” some states, “it should do it by name.”

AP: Chief Justice John Roberts asked the government’s top Supreme Court lawyer whether the Obama administration thinks Southerners “are more racist than citizens in the North.” The answer from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was no.

Reuters: Conservatives on the Supreme Court expressed strong doubts about the validity of a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, signaling that there could be a majority to strike down the heart of the landmark law. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing vote on racial issues, said that “times change” when weighing the provision that requires strict oversight of election laws in nine mainly Southern states.

MORE to come.

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