Ari Berman in Mother Jones:
On November 20, a three-judge panel on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that private plaintiffs could not bring lawsuits to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the key remaining provision of the landmark civil rights law, which prohibits voting practices and procedures that discriminate against voters of color. “The statute is silent on the existence of a private right of action,” wrote Judge David Stras of Minnesota, who was appointed by Donald Trump. Stras’ opinion represented the latest salvo against voting rights by the dark-money network linked to Federalist Society co-chair Leonard Leo. . . . As Judge Lavenski Smith, an appointee of George W. Bush who is the only Black judge on the 8th Circuit, noted in his dissent, of the 182 successful Section 2 cases over the past 40 years, only 15 were brought solely by the attorney general. If voting rights litigation were dependent on the Justice Department, it would slow to a trickle—or, under a hostile administration, to a halt.