The Supreme Court has effectively ended the nearly 50-year-old requirement for local governments with a history of voter discrimination to get advance approval from the federal government if they want to change voting laws.
The court voted 5-4 that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. You can read the court's opinion in full here.
That ruling does not end the requirement for some locales to get pre-clearance for their voting rules, but it abolishes the map of which areas must do so.Congress can pass another map, but it will be politically almost impossible to do so, as many pundits are already saying. Republicans have a particularly strong incentive not to pass a new map before the 2014 midterm elections. Reaction on Twitter from MSM voices is loud and negative:
It's strange that my Twitter feed does not share SCOTUS' joy over racism being over- Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 25, 2013
Congress being asked to fix the VRA = that cop in "the Big Lebowski" being asked to look for "ledes"- daveweigel (@daveweigel) June 25, 2013
One of the most stunning exercises in "judicial activism" ever.- Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 25, 2013
Conservatives on Twitter are being far less vocal. Eric Erickson, founder of Redstate.com, had a positive spin on the ruling:
Appreciate the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act. 2013 is not 1960.- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 25, 2013