On the heels of an election season in which voting rights were a hot-button issue, the United States Supreme Court is now poised to ratchet up the debate even further. On November 9, 2012, the Court granted certiorari in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder,1 a case involving a challenge to the 2006 extension of certain portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“the Act”).2 Specifically, the Petitioners in Shelby question the continued constitutionality of Section 5 of the Act, which requires certain jurisdictions with a history of voter discrimination to obtain “preclearance” from the federal government before implementing any change to their voting practices or procedures.3 Whether a jurisdiction is considered to have a history of voter discrimination (and therefore subject to preclearance) is determined by the Act’s nearly 50-year-old “coverage formula.”4 Petitioners argue that the retention of such an outdated standard exceeds Congress’s enforcement authority granted by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.5
The Online Companion of the Louisiana Law Review
The LLR Lagniappe, formerly known as the “Digital Digest,” is the official blog of the Louisiana Law Review.
The LLR Lagniappe features short commentaries of legal developments in Louisiana and across the country. Our blog seeks to harness valuable scholarly insight that may otherwise not fit within the traditional limitations of the printed Louisiana Law Review.
The LLR Lagniappe is currently limited to Law Review members, legal practitioners, and faculty members. Submissions from these sources are reviewed by the Board and accepted for publication subject to the Board's discretion. If you would like to write for the LLR Lagniappe, please contact the Online Editor at email@example.com.