• A case that stuck down the Voting Rights Act

AKA

  • Shelby County, Alabama, Petitioner v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, et al.

Issues & Arguments

  • The requirement of some jurisdictions to get Federal preclearance before making changes to voting regulations

People & Organizations

Judges
Venues
Plaintiff
Defendants
Lawyers
Others

Timeline

Outcome

Holding
  • Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional
Opinions
  • Majority (Chief Justice John Roberts joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito
    • Section 4(b) exceeded Congress's power to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments
    • The coverage formula conflicts with the constitutional principles of federalism and "equal sovereignty of the states" because the disparate treatment of the states is "based on 40 year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day"
  • Concurrence (Justice Clarence Thomas)
    • Section 5 is unconstitutional for the same reasons
  • Dissent (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan
    • Acknowledged that discrimination in voting has decreased in the covered jurisdictions since the Voting Rights Act's enactment, but it attributed much of that decrease to the Act itself, noting that "[t]hrowing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."

Related Cases

Mentions

Episodes Mentioning the Case
Other Pages Mentioning the Case

See also

Links