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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.

The bottom line: While the DOJ has challenged discriminatory voting laws in states such as Texas and North Carolina, the agency has done little to reverse laws violating the VRA's remaining provisions, the commission wrote in the report.

  • For example, 61 lawsuits challenging discriminatory election practices were filed after 2013. Only four of those were filed by the Obama Justice Department and none have been brought under President Trump. The others were filed by private groups.

The 498-page report includes a series of recommendations to Congress, including "a streamlined remedy to review certain changes with known risks of discrimination before they take effect—not after potentially tainted elections."

  • When the Supreme Court nullified the key VRA provision, saying that racism was no longer prevalent, it had urged Congress to come up with a new formula to determine which states need federal oversight. But there hasn't been much progress from lawmakers amid a partisan deadlock.

A DOJ spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

The big picture: Flynn's pardon would be the culmination of a four-year political and legal saga that began with the FBI's investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 election.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.