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Introduction The 15th Amendment of US Constitution provides constitutional cover to the voting rights of the citizens of the country. It specifically offers a clear and explicit reference to all those laws, regulations and practices which can hinder or restrict the voting rights of the citizens based upon color, race and other standards…
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Download file to see previous pages The Voting Rights Act 1965 was considered as one of the landmark legislations in the history of United States to ensure that there exists no voting discrimination. This act specifically prohibits local governments as well as States not to impose any qualifications on the voting rights of the citizens despite the fact that voting has not been specifically defined as a right under the Constitution of the country. Through Section 4 and 5 it implemented an effective check over the States to get preclearance from the Federal government if States were required to bring any change in the voting laws. Supreme Court of the Country however, recently termed section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act 1965 as unconstitutional while not striking down Section 5 of the Act. This decision however, has created a strong debate on the voting discrimination and the how it may affect the overall voting rights of the citizens. Issues like voter IDs have resurfaced and are considered as discriminatory in nature. The Voting Rights Act 1965 and Discriminatory Voting The Voting Rights Act 1965 is considered as one of the landmark legislations in the history of United States of America. ...
bsequent legislations after the 15th Amendment were directed at ensuring that States comply with the constitutional requirement however, after reconstruction, Federal government failed to however, effectively implement all the provisions and resultantly States enacted various laws and regulations which restrained the voting rights of the individuals. Section 4 and 5 of VRA put in place a formula based upon which States as well as local bodies were required to obtain preclearance from the Federal government regarding changes in the voting as well as voting legislations. This formula was decided based upon the historical facts and observations regarding the behavior of States and local bodies involved in the discretionary voting practices. Section 4 and 5 were therefore considered as important provisions which gave powers to the Federal Government to put restrictions on the local bodies as well as States not to engage in any discriminatory practices. Supreme Court Decision, Voter IDs and Discrimination Prior to the decision of Supreme Court, there were incidences where local bodies as well as States were clearly indulged into making changes in the laws to encourage discrimination during the voting. In 2010, Georgia passed a bill to reschedule the elections after it was revealed during the census that the blacks have become majority in certain areas.1 Though the change only affected Richmond- Augusta however, it was later rejected under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act 1965. In Shelby County vs Holder, Supreme Court struck down Section 4 terming it unconstitutional while it retained Section 5. However, without Section 4, the overall significance of Section 5 is almost negligible. While striking down the law, Supreme Court declared that the law is based upon 40 years old ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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