A federal appeals court’s decision to forbid private individuals and civil rights organisations from suing under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act drastically weakens the law.
Voting Rights Act
On May 26, 1965, the U.S. Senate voted 77-19 to enact the voting rights measure. On July 9, after more than a month of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill 333–85.
On August 6, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent figures in the civil rights movement witnessed Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act into law.
Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act can only be challenged by the federal government, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court plead for the Eighth Circuit.
The Voting Rights Act has been amended to protect non-English speaking American citizens’ voting rights but was halted in 2013 after the Supreme Court ruled constraints outdated, leading to states enacting laws limiting voter access.
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Effects on the Voting Rights Act
The legislation has proven to be an incredibly effective barrier against plans aimed at restricting the ability of historically marginalised people to vote.
In states where there has historically been discrimination, this protection has been particularly beneficial in redistricting processes, which have resulted in the election of hundreds of candidates of colour for municipal, state, and federal offices.
The difference between white and black voter registration rates decreased in the years following the Voting Rights Act’s enactment, from roughly thirty percentage points in the early 1960s to just eight points a decade later.
The Voting Rights Act was repeatedly reauthorized as a result of this accomplishment. Reauthorization was widely supported by both parties in both chambers of Congress in 2006, and it was approved by the Senate unanimously.
Changes by the Supreme Court in Voting Rights Acts
Since the Voting Rights Act’s passage, conservative justices on the Supreme Court have consistently attacked it.
Even though the statute has been extended several times, recent rulings by the Court have frequently served to restrict its scope.
The Shelby County v. Holder ruling from 2013, which essentially outlawed the use of preclearance, is the main source of worry.
After the ruling, states that were exempt from obtaining federal permission for new voting regulations enacted a flurry of measures designed to impede voting.
Furthermore, research indicates that in areas that were formerly covered by Section 5, there is a growing racial disparity in voter turnout.
Civil rights groups have had to rely more on Section 2 litigation in the absence of preclearance requirements to prevent political system discrimination; however, these lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, taking years to resolve while elections are still ongoing.
It was also more difficult to file cases under Section 2 after the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.
Considering the historical significance of the Voting Rights Act and its function in preventing racial discrimination in elections, it is anticipated that the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Objective & Aim of Voting Right Law
In American history, the Voting Rights Act is regarded as one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws.
President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which forbids racial discrimination in elections, removes obstacles to voting, and mandates federal consent for modifications to voting laws in areas with a history of prejudice.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law intending to remove state and municipal legal restrictions that barred African Americans from exercising their constitutionally protected right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Eligible Provision For Voting After Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act of 1965’s constitutionality, particularly its provisions pertaining to voter qualifications and requirements, was swiftly upheld by the US Supreme Court. The Act is a lawful means of enforcing the Fifteenth Amendment, the Court ruled in 1966.
Section 4(e) of the Act, which forbids giving literacy exams to Americans in American schools with Spanish-speaking populations, was upheld by the Court in the Katzenbach v. Morgan case.
The 1965 law’s Section 202, which forbids state and local governments from requiring citizens to reside within their borders for longer than 30 days prior to casting a ballot, was likewise affirmed by the Court.
The Court further maintained that 18 is the minimum age to vote in federal elections, a decision that aided in the passage of the Twenty-sixth Amendment.
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