Court Will Quash Key Voting Act Provision—Next Time
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 5:20 PM CDT
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Today’ non-decision by the Supreme Court on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is actually a stern repudiation, Tom Goldstein writes for SCOTUSblog. Reading between the lines, Goldstein surmises that the court will strike down Section 5 when the next challenge comes if Congress does not significantly alter it in the meantime. The most appealing change would be in the geographical restrictions of the law.

“A majority of the Court could have imposed its own will,” Goldstein writes, “but more modestly—to use the Chief Justice’s phrase—left it to Congress.” Today’s opinion politely savaged Section 5: The “coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old, and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions.” The statute regulates voting law in areas with a history of discrimination.