A Landmark Supreme Court Case Essay

1426 Words Feb 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
It was a landmark Supreme Court case whose judgment was pronounced on June 25, 2013. The case filed by Shelby County of the state Alabama and it sought to have the Supreme Court declare section 4(b) as well as section 5 of the VRA Act,1965 unlawful and thus unconstitutional (Schwinn, 244). This is because section 5 makes it a mandatory legal requirement that certain jurisdictions-local governments and states to obtain approval from either the Washington based federal court or the Attorney General that any proposed change in voting is not discriminatory before that change can be implemented. On the other hand, section 4(b) contains the formula used to determine which jurisdictions-local governments and states will be subjected to the preclearance stipulated by Section 5 (Schwinn, 245). The ruling pronounced by the Supreme Court justices was close with it coming down to 5-to-4 vote. Section 4(b) was declared unconstitutional because it makes use of data which is over four decades old thus unresponsive to current needs while Section 5 was declared constitutional. As a result, jurisdictions will be no longer subjected to the preclearance stipulated by Section 5 until a new formula for coverage is enacted by Congress.
Case facts
Shelby County, Alabama is a suburb in Birmingham with majority of its population being white. In April, 2010 the area filed a suit in Washington D.Cs federal court with the aim of having Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act pronounced unlawful (Miller,…

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