Civil and Human Rights

U.S. Supreme Court decision to review Shelby County voting rights challenge draws national attention

By Kent Faulk


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday to hear its challenge, Shelby County Alabama, has quickly become synonymous with many southerners’ efforts to get out from under a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


The New York Times and the Washington Post are among the major national newspapers that have written stories about Shelby County’s challenge to section 5 of the act. That act requires many cities, counties and other local jurisdictions, mainly in the South, to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department before making any changes to voting or voting lines.


Other publications writing about the Supreme Court’s decision to take on the Shelby County case include the Christian Science Monitor and Mother Jones, which proclaimed in a headline “Supreme Court Appears Ready to Nuke the Voting Rights Act.”


The decision by the high court to review the Shelby County case was greeted with cheers from the county’s attorney, reported. Southern communities have changed and no longer need such burdensome 1960s-style oversight from Washington, the attorney told


Doug Kendall, founder and president of the Constitutional Accountability Center wrote in The Blog on HuffingtonPost that the Voting Rights Act is still vital today.


For access to court briefs in the Shelby County Voting Rights case, go to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights website. That group in 2010 had intervened in the Shelby County lawsuit that is now in the hands of the high court.

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