DOJ Changes Its Page Describing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

On February 17 I noted that the DOJ page on Section 5 gave no indication that Shelby County had been decided and that section 5 was no longer being enforced against previously covered jurisdictions.

The page has now been updated, with a top section reading:


The Shelby County

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to use the coverage formula in Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act to determine which jurisdictions are subject to the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (U.S. June 25, 2013) (No. 12-96). The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Section 5 itself. The effect of the Shelby County decision is that the jurisdictions identified by the coverage formula in Sectilon 4(b) no longer need to seek preclearance for the new voting changes, unless they are covered by a separate court order entered under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.


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