So, quick history lesson. The South does not have a very commendable record of protecting the voting rights of African-Americans. Because of this, the Voting Rights Act included a Section requiring the Southern states (a body not co-extensive with those that have petitions to secede from the Union) to submit their maps to the Department of Justice before they went into effect.
This is Section 5 of the VRA, and Shelby County, Alabama, thinks it is unfair.
“Section 5 served a critical and laudable function 40 years ago, and the court held that it was constitutional then. But Section 5 is not justified now, and its re-authorization in 2006 was not constitutional. Section 5 currently serves only to allow federal bureaucrats to block good-faith and nondiscriminatory changes in state law and to impose unjustified costs on state and local governments,” said a statement issued by the office of Alabama’s attorney general.
“If what we have is a Voting Rights Act as it was applied by the Republican majority in Georgia, for example, to become a tool of establishing districts where Black people vote for Black people and White people vote for White people, then it has changed so much as to be unrecognizable,” he said.