Racial discrimination

Report finds protections for minority voters have plunged since 2013

Civil rights activist Rev. William Barber discussing voting rights and voting suppression. Photo: Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Civil rights activist Rev. William Barber discussing voting rights and voting suppression. Photo: Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A blistering report released Wednesday by the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that Justice Department efforts to protect minority voters' rights have significantly declined following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to invalidate a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

The backdrop: The 5-4 ruling in Shelby v. Holder prevents the DOJ from blocking voting laws in jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination. The report shows that this has paved the way for a deluge of restrictive laws that have made minorities more vulnerable to voter suppression.

Black Caucus says Kavanaugh nomination is threat to voting rights

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders on Thursday denounced Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, saying his vote would be a threat to voting rights — pointing to the South Carolina voter ID law he voted to uphold.

Why it matters:

"If you look at what has happened just over the last few years at the Supreme Court with the closely divided decisions on issues that deeply [affect] the rights and protections of African Americans, you will understand why this moment is so important for us."
— Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund