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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIAT) - In a ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court Justices in a 5-4 vote ruled that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.
The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law which has been used to open up polling places to minority voters since it was first enacted in 1965.
A part of the ruling states that lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek approval from Washington for election changes.
Some members of Shelby County are praising the decision. That includes attorney Butch Ellis, who says the ruling Tuesday will save local and state government’s time and money without hurting the cause of voting equality. He believes money spent on lawyers in the past can now go to schools, police and fire protections.
CBS42 has spoken with Mayor William Bell in Birmingham about the ruling. He says he will not release a statement until he completely reviews the ruling. We also have calls out to the NAACP as well as other local groups and political leaders and are waiting to hear back. CBS42 will update with the latest as soon as it becomes available.
CBS42′s Mike McClanahan has been covering this landmark event. Check out some of his reports below:
There have been multiple statements released from state officials:
- Governor Robert Bentley: Governor Bentley Voting Rights
- President Barack Obama: Obama Voting Rights
- Secretary of State Beth Chapman: Chapman Voting Rights Statement
- Sheila Tyson, Alabama Convener for the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation: Sheila Tyson Voting Rights
- Attorney General Luther Strange: Luther Strange Voting Rights
- American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama: ACLU Voting Rights
(The Associated Press’ Mark Sherman contributed to this report.)