In the wake of Shelby County, attention will naturally follow cases seeking bail-in for jurisdictions once covered by sections 4 and 5. Like Texas, where there’s the opposite of the “New York, New York” scenario: if you can make it anywhere, you can make it there. And now, North Carolina, which had 40 counties covered under sections 4 and 5, and where the legislature’s latest has inspired a request to bail in the state as a whole.
I still doubt that a bail-in regime premised on responsive litigation is an effective substitute for section 4. But it is also worth remembering that bail-in, once used exclusively for jurisdictions outside of section 4 coverage, is also still used for those jurisdictions. Last Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed against a high school district in Wolf Point, Montana — seeking, among other things, bail-in.