This really important perspective is by LaShawn Warren and is published on Scotusblog:
Six weeks after the close of an election cycle marred by Republican efforts to exclude Black and Brown voters, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a significant voting rights case. For generations, the court has recognized that the heart of America’s vibrant democracy is the right to vote free from discrimination. In Brnovich v. DNC, the court must once more affirm that there is no place for racism in our elections by striking down Arizona’s racially discriminatory voting laws.
Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to outlaw racial discrimination in voting. Previously, many states barred Black voters from participating in the political system through literacy tests, poll taxes, voter intimidation and violence. In the mid-1950s, only 25% of African Americans were registered to vote, and the registration rate was even lower in some states. Those rates soared after Congress enacted the VRA. By 1970, almost as many African Americans registered to vote in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina as had registered in the century before 1965. The VRA became the nation’s most effective defense against racially discriminatory voting policies.
That changed in 2013, when five justices of the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the VRA in Shelby County v. Holder. That powerful provision had enabled the federal government to block states and localities with a history of discrimination from adopting voting changes that could disenfranchise voters of color. In its absence, Republicans are hacking away at voting rights. This year alone, legislators in 33 states have already introduced more than 165 bills to restrict voting access, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Read the full article here.