A story that doesn't directly impact Colorado, but nonetheless of major importance–Washington Post:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday freed states from special federal oversight under the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying the data Congress used to identify the states covered by it was outdated and unfair.
The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the other conservative members of the court in the majority.
The court did not strike down a provision allowing special federal oversight but said Congress must come up with a new formula based on current data to identify which states should be covered. Proponents of the law, which protects minority voting rights, have said it will be extremely difficult for a Congress bitterly divided along partisan lines to come up with such an agreement. [Pols emphasis]
The act currently covers the southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, as well as Alaska and Arizona, and parts of seven other states. It requires them to receive “pre-clearance” from either the attorney general or federal judges before making any changes to election or voting laws.
Reaction to today's 5-4 ruling from Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado:
“Today is a sad day. I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. The Act has played a critical role in assuring voter equity for almost 50 years, and today’s action by the Court undermines that progress. The right to vote is the most fundamental right of our democracy, and I am saddened and angry that the Supreme Court today took steps to undermine that right for millions of Americans.”
Colorado Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll summarized the bottom line today:
There is about 0% chance that Congress can re-enact a new formula under Section 4.
Despite the acknowledgement by the court that "pre-clearance" protections still are needed in areas of the country historically subject to voting discrimination, there is very little chance that the Republican-controlled House will take any meaningful action to satisfy the court's requirement for a new formula to determine where such additional protection is necessary. In short, even if the Supreme Court is correct that criteria from 1965 is no longer fully applicable today, our busted Congress is very unlikely unable to do anything about it.
The end result, no protections, could be far worse than outdated protections.