Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts stated,
“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,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “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.”
In other words, it is the opinion of the Court’s majority that the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act worked so well that to continue enforcement under the existing scheme is unconstitutional.
The logic of the majority represents a tragic irony given that the ruling comes at a time when minority voting rights are, once again, under severe attack as state governments under GOP control seek to rig the game in an effort to overcome the demographic and racial shifts in the electorate. These changes dramatically improve the opportunities for Democrats *(I think he meant Repubs) to gain elected office—particularly when it comes to the presidency.
The State of Texas—a state subject to the requirements of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act—has now produced the most restrictive voter ID law in the country but has been unable to implement the law as the Feds have yet to approve it. The same is the case in Virginia where an onerous voter ID law has been signed by the Governor but held up pending federal approval as they too are subject to the enforcement provisions of the VRA.
Federal protections of minorities in these states are now a thing of the past. Indeed, the state of Texas has already announced that, based on today’s Supreme Court ruling, they no longer have to wait for federal approval of their voter ID law and that the law will go into effect immediately.