U.S. Supreme Court Decision Decimates Key Provision in the Voting Rights Act Designed to Protect the Voting Rights of Minorities

June 25, 2013

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, 202-833-6130, PZuleta (at) LULAC . org

Washington, D.C. - Today’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated the enforcement provision of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that Section 4 of the VRA was unconstitutional. Section 4 of the VRA requires eight states along with regions of seven others to get pre-approval from the U.S. Department of Justice for any new election laws or redistricting plans. The Supreme Court struck down this provision because it held that the formula for identifying districts which need pre-clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice was outdated. The Supreme Court called upon Congress to enact legislation that applies a formula that reflects today’s circumstances.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling was a serious blow for the millions of minority communities whose voting rights are still being targeted,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran.

“We only need to look at last year’s presidential election to appreciate how critical the VRA preclearance provision was to ensuring that every American citizen had the right to vote. As everyone knows there was a concerted effort to put up road blocks through state statutes to hinder minority communities from voting. It took the U.S. Department of Justice’s active participation through the VRA, as well as, the work of civil rights organizations like LULAC to combat such deplorable tactics. With today’s Supreme Court ruling we lost the most powerful legal remedy available to combat such activity and protect the voting rights of millions of citizens. We call on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.”

LULAC believes that the cornerstone of our democracy is the right of every American citizen to vote. LULAC will continue to work with other civil rights organizations to ensure that this right is protected for the benefit of all Americans including minority communities which are the easiest targets for voter suppression.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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