Content Authored by Elise Helgesen
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This month, the D.C. district court upheld the validity of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, dealing a huge blow to Shelby County, Alabama, but ushering in a huge victory for Section 5 proponents. Section 5 of VRA requires states and localities covered by Section 5 to submit changes in law and practice to the Department of Justice or the District Court of the District of Columbia for “preclearance.” This preclearance process prevents changes that would weaken voting rights for racial minorities. The D.C. district court's decision struck down Shelby County's facial and as applied challenges to Section 5, finding that Section 5 was a valid remedy for discriminatory voting practices.