Court revives NC’s challenge to Voting Rights Act

Caroline May
The Daily Caller

In what has been called a “serious set-back for the Holder Justice Department,” a federal appeals court has chosen to allow a lawsuit challenging a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to go forward.

The case in question involves a 2008 referendum in which the citizens of Kinston, N.C., voted to hold nonpartisan elections, which would keep the party affiliation of the candidates off the ballots, a common practice in the state.

The Justice Department, arguing that conducting elections in this matter would effectively discriminate against black voters, used Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to block the referendum results and make the town keep party labels on the ballot.

Section 5 requires the Justice Department to review changes to election laws in regions known as “covered jurisdictions,” which in the past were areas known to discriminate based on race. The vast majority of these jurisdictions are in the South.

At the time of the decision, Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King explained that Justice ordered the change because Kinston residents vote based on race, not party affiliation…

…The Justice Department explained that citizens needed to have the party affiliation so that blacks could elect their “candidates of choice,” which the department identified as Democrats and “almost exclusively black,” according to the Washington Times in 2009…

Read the complete article at The Daily Caller.

Related: Holder’s War On Louisiana Has Officially Begun:

We’ve known this was coming for months, but now it’s here – Eric Holder and the Justice Department have sued the state of Louisiana for its purported lack of diligence in signing up new voters at public assistance offices.

The lawsuit was filed in the Baton Rouge-based U.S. Middle District Court and names as defendants Schedler; Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals Bruce Greenstein and his agency; and Ruth Johnson, secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services and her agency.

The lawsuit alleges that agency offices that grant public assistance have failed to regularly ask clients if they want to register to vote and give them forms to register.

“The voting process begins with registration, therefore it is essential that all citizens have unfettered access to voter registration opportunities,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division…

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