Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder Decision: ACLU Reacts

The American Civil Liberties Union reacted strongly to the Supreme Court's Tuesday decision to gut Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

The 5-4 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder decided that the provision designating which states will receive additional federal oversight due to their history of voter discrimination is invalid. Standing on the majority side were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were.”

"Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to the current conditions," Roberts added.

Read the full Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder opinion below:

Correction: An earlier version of this piece included the text of a different Supreme Court decision. It has been replaced.



Supreme Court Justices