Statement from Attorney General Roy Cooper on U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act:
Release date: 6/25/2013
“This ruling doesn’t eliminate North Carolina’s obligation to keep elections open and accessible. Now that this important tool used to fight election law discrimination is gone, the legislature must take even more care to resist new laws that make it harder for people to vote.”
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down Section 4 of the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Cooper had signed a brief urging the Court to uphold the Act.
This landmark civil rights law was originally enacted in 1965 to combat efforts to disenfranchise certain groups of voters and was most recently reauthorized by Congress in 2006.
Section 4 establishes the criteria to determine whether a state or part of a state must seek review of any changes to its election laws by the U.S. Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a process known as preclearance. Until Congress sets new criteria, no state or part of a state will be subject to preclearance under Section 5.
The North Carolina General Assembly is now considering legislation that among other changes would limit early voting and require voter I.D.