Voting Rights Act Case Could Adversely Affect Latino Voters

The Supreme Court could take up a case regarding the Voting Rights Act and how it’s implemented across the country, which could have a significant impact on Latino voters who might become disenfranchised.
According to Huffington Post’s Latino Voices, ” In Shelby County vs. Holder, the Supreme Court justices will be deciding whether it makes sense to pursue section 5. The provision requires that lawmakers who want to enact changes to voting laws are obligated to seek permission from the federal government in states with a history of discrimination.
“Advocates argue that without this key provision, federal judges would not have been able to block voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina. It also voided district maps in Texas and prevented early voting in parts of Florida. Yet, critics claim the provision is outdated.”
Quoted in the article is Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. She said, “State practices that seek to “freeze in place” their current electorates and limit the entry of Latino voters can run afoul of federal law as well as the Constitution and are fundamentally undemocratic.”
When the Voting Rights Act was enacted, nine states in the south were targeted as areas that needed to seek preclearance. Yet, the plaintiff, Shelby County, Ala., argues that Alabama should no longer be held under the same rules considering that the state does not engage in voter discrimination.
“America is no longer a land where whites hold the levers of power and minority representation depends on extraordinary federal intervention,” according to an amicus brief argument filed by the Cato Institute—a nonpartisan think tank—in the Shelby County case.
Graphic © StockMonkeys.com via Flickr
 

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