The Supreme Court will hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the voting rights law that requires states with histories of racial discrimination to get federal approval before making any changes to voting procedures.
The appeal from Shelby County, Ala., near Birmingham, says state and local governments covered by the law have made significant progress and no longer should be forced to live under oversight from Washington.
The high court considered the same issue three years ago but sidestepped what Chief Justice John Roberts then called “a difficult constitutional question.”
Since then, Congress has not addressed potential problems identified by the court. Meanwhile, the law’s opponents sensed its vulnerability and filed several new lawsuits.
Addressing those challenges, lower courts have concluded that a history of discrimination and more recent efforts to harm minority voters justify continuing federal oversight.