Eighth Circuit Court Limits Private Challenges to Voting Laws, Striking Another Blow to Voting Rights Act


FILE - Then-Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras speaks in St. Paul, Minn., May 13, 2010. A divided federal appeals court on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, ruled that private individuals and groups such as the NAACP do not have the ability to sue under a key section of the federal Voting Rights Act. “When those details are missing, it is not our place to fill in the gaps, except when ‘text and structure’ require it,” U.S. Circuit Judge David R. Stras wrote for the majority in an opinion joined by Judge Raymond W. Gruender. Stras was nominated by former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has dealt a huge blow to what is left of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, further weakening the rights of minority voters.

The Eighth Circuit ruling, which affects voters in Arkansas and six other states, determined that only the federal government, not private citizens or civil rights groups like the NAACP, can challenge discriminatory voting practices under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The latest ruling contradicts decades of legal precedent where private parties have played a crucial role in challenging racist laws and gerrymandering.

The decision is expected to face appeal, potentially reaching a Supreme Court that has shown a mixed record on voting rights. The question is, how deeply will this impact the future of voting rights and racial equity in America?

Click play to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

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