SCOTUS voids part of Voting Rights Act - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

SCOTUS voids part of Voting Rights Act

People wait in line to vote during a recent election. (Source: CNN) People wait in line to vote during a recent election. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, which determines what states require federal clearance for a change in voting procedures.

Section 5, the part that requires advance clearance by the government, was left alone by the high court. However, it cannot be used until Congress determines a new way to decide what states would need oversight on their redistricting.

"Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2," the opinion stated, according to SCOTUSblog. "We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions."

Section 5 - the advance approval requirement - has been used, mainly in the South, to open polling places to minority voters since it was first enacted, according to the Associated Press.

The 5-4 ruling was split along the conservative and liberal line of the justices. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion.

"In the court's view, the very success of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy," she stated, according to SCOTUSblog.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on Aug. 6 1965. The Act was to prohibit states and localities from enacting obstacles that would prohibit or make voter registration difficult for groups. For example, literacy tests were given to black people trying to register to vote in various towns across the South.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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