07-21-2017  11:42 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Augustana Lutheran Church Hosts Summer in the City Aug. 6

Free event includes BBQ, book sale, children’s games, music ...

Health Officials Warn of Spike in Heroin Overdoses

Emergency providers urge use of nalaxone, which is available without a prescription ...

Students Reach New Heights

Two rising sophomores attend aviation camp in Vancouver, Wash. ...

Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways

This summer the eight-mile bike route takes place on July 23, from 11 a.m - 4 p.m. ...

APANO: Cultural Series Launches with Solidarity Film Screening

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" screens on July 25 at North Portland Library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Throw the Doors of Opportunity Wide Open for Our Youth

Congressional Black Caucus member Robin Kelly says it’s time to pass the “Today’s American Dream Act.” ...

Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Civil Rights

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending talks about the impact of President Trump’s budget on civil rights...

Nooses on National Mall Echo Domestic Terrorism

Lauren Victoria Burke reports on a series of domestic terrorist attacks across the U.S ...

White House Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut in Education Funding

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes about the rising costs of higher education ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT




A predictably divided Supreme Court appeared ready to strike down - at least in part - the key enforcement provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, with many conservative justices on Wednesday suggesting it was a constitutionally unnecessary vestige of the civil rights era.

Known as Section 5, it gives the federal government open-ended oversight of states and localities mostly in the South with a history of voter discrimination.

Any changes in voting laws and procedures in all or parts of 16 covered states must be "pre-cleared" with Washington. That could include something as simple as moving a polling place temporarily across the street.

The provision was reauthorized by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years and officials in Shelby County, Alabama, subsequently filed suit, saying the monitoring was overly burdensome and unwarranted.


In a tense 80 minutes of oral arguments, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked why the court would rule "in favor of the county that is the epitome" of what caused the law to be passed in the first place.

Her three reliably liberal colleagues appeared to support continued use of the coverage formula run by the federal Justice Department.

But Justice Samuel Alito wondered why some states were subject to oversight and not others.

"Why shouldn't it apply everywhere in the country," he asked. The other four more conservative justices had tough questions for the Obama administration's positions.

This case will be one of the biggest the justices tackle this term, offering a social, political, and legal barometer on the progress of civil rights in the United States and the level of national vigilance still needed to ensure minorities have equal access to the election process.

A ruling in this appeal is expected by June. 

The case is Shelby County v. Holder (12-96).

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