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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder
Citation:Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529, 133 S. Ct. 2612, 186 L.Ed. 2d 651 (2013)
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
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- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed to address systemic discrimination of black voters. While Section 2 of the Act banned discriminatory practices nationwide, other sections only applied to certain “covered jurisdictions” with a history of racial discrimination practices in voting. Section 5 of the Act required that these jurisdictions get federal approval for any changes to their voting procedures and Section 4(b) provided a “coverage formula” for determining which jurisdictions would be subject to the this requirement. The formula defined the covered jurisdictions as those with tests or other measures as prerequisites to voting and low voter registration or turnout in the 1960s and early 1970s. The formula and additional requirements for these jurisdictions was originally set to expire after five years, but was renewed many times, with the coverage formula remaining the same. In 2006, Congress reauthorized the Act for 25 years.
Shelby County, Alabama, a covered jurisdiction under the Act, sued the Attorney General seeking a declaratory judgment that the coverage formal of Section 4(b) and the additional requirements for covered jurisdictions in Section 5 were unconstitutional and a permanent injunction against their enforcement.
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