“Judge Reinstates Some Federal Oversight of Voting Practices for an Alabama City”

Adam Liptak for NYT: “A federal judge in Alabama on Monday reinstated federal oversight over the voting practices of a city there, in what election law specialists said was the first such move since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in June.”

This is not much of a trendsetter for other cases, because the City of Evergreen agreed to be bailed in under the Act—while North Carolina and Texas are fighting the efforts strongly:

A lawyer for the city, James H. Anderson, said his client had agreed to and welcomed the order. Early federal approval of voting changes, he said, could prevent later lawsuits.

The city has acknowledged flaws in its handling of voter rolls and has revised its approach to redistricting in light of an earlier court ruling.

Richard L. Hasen, who teaches election law at the University of California, Irvine, said the more interesting fights over Section 3 would come in Texas and North Carolina, where state officials are opposing the Justice Department’s attempts to restore federal oversight.

“It does show,” Professor Hasen said of Judge Granade’s decision, “that there can still be a role for the Justice Department to preclear voting changes.”


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