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The big picture: The SCOTUS decision enabling voting restrictions

Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court ahead of a 2013 hearing on Shelby County v. Holder, a legal challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Demonstrators rally outside the Supreme Court ahead of a 2013 hearing on Shelby County v. Holder, a legal challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Exactly five years ago, the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision under the landmark Voting Rights Act, exempting nine states — mostly in the South with a history of racial discrimination — from seeking federal approval before changing their voting laws.

Why it matters: The 5-4 ruling in Shelby v. Holder paved the way for a deluge of restrictive voting laws that voting rights advocates say disproportionately limit racial minorities' and other marginalized communities’ access to the ballot box. Meanwhile, those championing the restrictive polices, claim it help curb what they say is widespread voter fraud.