ACS President Caroline Fredrickson on Shelby County v. Holder

June 25, 2013


June 25, 2013


Jeremy Leaming
[email protected]

“So much for ‘originalism’ and ‘strict construction.’ The Supreme Court’s opinion in the Shelby County voting rights case is staggering and appalling in its disdain for the words and meaning of the Constitution – not to mention protection of the hallowed right to vote. The Court’s invalidation of Section 4, which includes the formula for defining what states are covered by Section 5, effectively kills the Voting Rights Act’s major enforcement provision. Both the 14th and 15th Amendments state clearly that ‘Congress shall have the power to enforce’ voting rights and equal protection. Time and time again Congress has done so by reaffirming overwhelmingly the Voting Rights Act, including Sections 4 and 5; the last vote was a combined 488-33 or 94 percent of Congress. But five of the Court’s justices have chosen to ignore the Constitution and Congress and substitute their own views for those granted the power in the Constitution. For jurists who allege to support judicial restraint, it’s hard to imagine a more activist (and disingenuous) decision than today’s.”

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. For more information about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit