Voting Rights Act

Law
42 U.S.C. § 1971  | (1965)

Legal Definition of Voting Rights Act

eradicated the tactics previously used in the South to disenfranchise black voters. Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, most Southern blacks found it difficult to exercise their voting rights. In 1965, mass demonstrations were held to protest the violence and other means used to prevent black voter registration. After a peaceful protest march at Selma, Alabama, was violently broken up by white authorities, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which abolished literacy tests and other voter restrictions and authorized federal intervention against voter discrimination. The subsequent rise in black voter registration transformed politics in the South. In 2010, Shelby County, Alabama, challenged the constitutionality of the renewal of a provision in the law requiring certain voting districts to obtain federal authorization before changing their election laws and procedures. In Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 2 (2013), the Supreme Court agreed with the county and held that the formula used in section 4 of the Act unconstitutionally violated the Tenth Amendment and Article Four of the U.S. Constitution and could no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to federal preclearance of voting procedures.

Comments on Voting Rights Act

What made you want to look up Voting Rights Act? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!