The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a key voting rights case. Shelby County v. Holder is a challenge to the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, long considered one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history. The case has been upheld five times by the court and puts the issues of race and discrimination front and center. But the Shelby case may be the biggest threat to the law yet. At issue is article five of the act, which requires nine, mostly southern states, and parts of seven others to get federal approval before making changes their voting laws. it’s intended to prevent discriminatory voting procedures, but conservatives and Republican-controlled states argue that the law is no longer justified because of the progress made on racial equality since President Lyndon Johnson introduced the law. Attorneys for Shelby County, Alabama concede that in 1965 Congress had evidence that (mostly southern) white officials suppressed the African-American vote, nothing like that exists today. Congress debated this in 20016 over a period of 10 months and 21 hearings and came to the conclusion that while times have changed, the places with a history of voter discrimination remained the worst offenders. And there are a myriad of examples of these less overt forms of voter suppression. We’ll discuss today’s arguments and more when we see you at noon ET on msnbc.
Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine (@jonathanchait)
David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief, Mother Jones/ msnbc Political Analyst (@davidcorndc)
Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Reporter, Politico (@maggiepolitico)
Andrew Ross Sorkin, CNBC Co-Host, “Squawk Box”/ New York Times Columnist (@andrewsorkin)
Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League (@marcmorial) [New Orleans]
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) (@keithellison) [Cannon Rotunda]
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) (@clairecmc) [Russell Rotunda]