The New York times Editorial Board
April 2, 2018
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is arguably the most popular and effective civil rights law in the nation’s history. Soon after it passed, black registration and turnout skyrocketed. In Mississippi, 7 percent of eligible black voters were registered in 1965; two years later, 60 percent were…Unfortunately, the court’s conservative majority has severely weakened the protections the law was intended to provide. The biggest blow came in a 2013 decision, Shelby County v. Holder. In that case, the five conservative justices, led by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., gutted the heart of the act, which identified several states with long histories of voting discrimination, most in the South, and required them to get federal permission before changing their voting laws. While that remedy may have been a necessary response to 1960s-era racism, the chief justice wrote, “things have changed dramatically.