March 1: Voting-rights advocates are worried as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a case in the state of Arizona that could undercut the landmark law that protected the rights of minorities at the polls for a half century, Bloomberg reported.
Tuesday’s clash over the 1965 Voting Rights Act comes as Republican-controlled states consider a barrage of new restrictions that could make it harder for minorities to cast ballots in 2022 elections. It follows November’s presidential contest in which Donald Trump refused to concede and instead made baseless assertions of widespread fraud. And the case comes before a Supreme Court that, bolstered by three Trump appointees, has only grown more conservative since it nullified a key component of the law in 2013.
“The court could decide this in a number of ways which could include weakening or limiting” the law, said Myrna Perez, a voting rights litigator at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
The case centers on the law’s Section 2, a provision that’s now the primary tool for challenging voting laws as discriminatory. Section 2 took on heightened importance after the high court’s 2013 Shelby County decision effectively killed a separate section that had required some states to get federal clearance before they changed their voting rules. — Bloomberg