Miller on SCOTUS Voting Rights Act Decision

Jun 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Committee on House Administration Chairman Candice Miller, R-Mich., issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision to strike down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act:

“Having served eight years as Michigan’s Secretary of State, I understand the importance of access and fairness at the polls.  I believe that our democracy works best when our citizens – regardless of race or color – participate in our electoral process, which is why I voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

“Today, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the formula that determines which jurisdictions the preclearance requirements apply to, while valid when enacted, is unconstitutional in light of current conditions. While I have supported this provision of the Voting Rights Act in the past, I respect the Court’s decision and am heartened that the Court has left the rest of this landmark civil rights legislation intact.”

BACKGROUND:

Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 established the formula that determines what jurisdictions are subject to the preclearance requirements in Section 5 of the law.  Impacted jurisdictions are required to seek and receive clearance from the Department of Justice in advance of making any changes, no matter how small, to election procedures.  Congress voted in 2006 to renew the Act, which covers jurisdictions in over a dozen states, including two townships in Michigan (Clyde and Buena Vista).  Today, the Supreme Court released its decision to strike down the formula as unconstitutional.  

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