New Voting Rights Litigation Summary from CLC Shows Growing Voter Dilution and Suppression Efforts Since Supreme Court’s Shelby County Decision
Over the past few years, efforts to dilute and suppress minority voting rights or to restrict the vote for partisan gain have spiked dramatically. Racially-discriminatory voting laws have been passed in states and municipalities across the country, particularly in jurisdictions that no longer have to comply with a key provision of the Voting Rights Act as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision two years ago in Shelby County v. Holder. Jurisdictions have also passed election restrictions designed to benefit one party over the other, often under the guise of improving already-efficient election procedures and preventing non-existent voter-fraud. The Campaign Legal Center has filed suit to challenge a number of those laws and participated in other cases across the country.
The Legal Center has released an updated summary of that litigation to facilitate the tracking of those cases. The summary includes a number of the most prominent post-Shelby cases, though more are out there.
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the formula used to determine which states and localities would be covered under the Voting Rights Act’s “preclearance” requirement. Since then, voting rights cases have continued to multiply, albeit under the more difficult standards of the Act’s remaining provisions—notably, the Court left intact Section 2, which blocks discriminatory voting rules nationwide, as well as Section 3, which allows courts to impose preclearance requirements on (or “bail in”) particular jurisdictions found to have discriminated against voters. Voting rights plaintiffs are also increasingly bringing constitutional claims, such as claims that certain election rules violate the right to vote protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Despite these higher legal hurdles, the need to protect voting rights is even greater today as the threats to those rights have multiplied. Voter photo ID laws and racial gerrymanders have produced some of the highest profile cases, but a broad range of tactics also have been applied to drive down voter turnout and eligibility generally. The number of these new efforts has exploded as the difficulty in challenging them in court has increased.
The Legal Center’s voting rights litigation summary attests to the widespread efforts to undermine the voting rights of minority communities and the vital need to challenge these voter suppression laws in the courts.
To read the new Legal Center updated Voting Rights litigation summary, click here.
To read the Legal Center’s recent campaign finance litigation summary, click here.
The most recent updates of the litigation summaries are always available on the Legal Center website’s Litigation page.