The U.S. Supreme Court has eviscerated a key portion of federal legislation that has for decades prevented some states and local jurisdictions from denying members of minority groups the most sacred right of Americans: the right to vote.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices declared unconstitutional Section 4 of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that establishes a "coverage formula" to determine which states and local governments fall under Section 5, which requires some states and localities to get federal approval before they can change their election laws.
The advance-approval requirement has worked to ensure access to the polls for minority voters in places where voter laws had directly or indirectly kept them from voting prior to 1965. The states that must get approval for new voting laws are mainly in the South. The ruling implies the inequities the law was enacted to stop aren't now a problem in the United States.