U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Portion of Voting Rights Act in Challenge by Shelby County, Ala.



90.3 WBHM In a five to four decision Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a part of the law that sets out a formula for determining which states are examined for voting discrimination. Shelby County, Alabama, challenged that section along with Section 5 which requires certain states, mostly in the south, gain prior approval from the federal government before changing voting laws. While the court left Section 5 intact, legal experts say its left effective dormant until Congress passes a new formula.

Shelby County's Attorney Butch Ellis says he's "elated" with the ruling and that it will save the county time and money. From the Associated Press:
Ellis says local governments have spent more than $1 billion seeking Justice Department approval of voting changes. He says money spent on lawyers in the past can now go to schools, police and fire protections.

NPR News has more on why the justices considered the formula "outdated."

More on the decision from Al.com.

Read the U.S. Supreme Court opinion.

Background on the case from NPR's Nina Totenberg and Debbie Elliot.

UPDATE: Statements from Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange and Secretary of State Beth Chapman.

~ June 25, 2013