1965年的投票权法案是的一个重要组成部分 民权运动 寻求强制执行 宪法's guarantee of every American's right to vote under the 15th Amendment. The Voting Rights Act was designed to end discrimination against black Americans, particularly those in the South after the 内战.
"No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or st和ard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied 通过 any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."
The provision reflected the 15th Amendment of the 宪法, which reads:
"The right of U.S. citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or 通过 any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
主席 林登湾约翰逊 签署了1965年8月6日的投票权法案成为法律。
法律是非法的 国会 和 州政府 to pass voting laws based on race and has been described as the most effective civil rights law ever enacted. Among other provisions, the act prohibited discrimination through the use of poll taxes 和 the application of literacy tests to determine whether voters could take part in elections.
"It is widely regarded as enabling the enfranchisement of millions of minority voters and diversifying the electorate 和 legislative bodies at all levels of American government," according to The Leadership Conference, which advocates for civil rights.
The 我们。最高法院 has issued several major rulings on the Voting Rights Act.
The first was in 1966. The court initially upheld the constitutionality of the law.
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在2013年， 我们。最高法院 threw out a provision of the Voting Rights Act that required nine states to get federal approval from the Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, D.C., before making any changes to their election laws. That preclearance provision was originally set to expire in 1970 but was extended numerous times 通过 国会.
The decision was 5-4. Voting to invalidate that provision in the act were 首席大法官约翰·克罗伯茨JR。 和法官 安东宁斯卡利亚，安东尼米。肯尼迪，克拉伦斯·托马斯和 塞缪尔一个。阿利JR。 Voting in favor of keeping the law intact were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor 和 Elena Kagan.
Roberts, writing for the majority, said that portion of the 1965年投票权法案 was outdated 和 that "the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterizes voting in the covered jurisdictions."
"Our country has changed. While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, 国会 must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions."
In the 2013 decision, Roberts cited data that showed turnout among black voters had grown to exceed that of white voters in most of the states originally covered 通过 the Voting Rights Act. His comments suggest that discrimination against blacks had diminished greatly since the 1950s 和 1960s.
The provision struck down 通过 the 2013 ruling covered nine states, most of them in the South. Those states are:
The Supreme Court's 2013 ruling was decried 通过 critics who said it gutted the law. 美国总统奥巴马 是尖锐的批评的决定。
"I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted 和 repeatedly renewed 通过 wide bipartisan majorities in 国会 – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent."
The ruling was praised, however, in states that had been overseen 通过 the federal government. In South Caroline, Attorney General Alan Wilson described the law as an "extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty in certain states.
"This is a victory for all voters as all states can now act equally without some having to ask for permission or being required to jump through the extraordinary hoops dem和ed 通过 federal bureaucracy."
国会 was expected to take up revisions of the invalidated section of the law in the summer of 2013.