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After the Shelby v Holder Decision - States Change Voting Laws – North Carolina 2

The ruling "was an enormous decision with very serious consequences," said Myrna Perez, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. She continued by saying "I don't know what's in hearts and minds, but one of the things that was very nice about Section 5 was that it didn't require a showing of what was in hearts and minds," in reference to the Voting Right Act's pragmatic necessities for substantiating discrimination. After the Supreme Court ruling, Ms. Perez stated that "the right to vote is at stake…. persons' ability to have a say in our ability in the country to have free and fair elections is at stake."

Perez also said that voting rights "could be threatened on a number of fronts." She wrote that "states may re-enact discriminatory voting changes that had been stopped by Section 5," referring to details that 31 proposals were blocked since 2006 by the Justice Department when the act was reapproved by Congress. She pointed out that states could also implement biased modifications that were withdrawn once the Justice Department objected, or put changes into place that had been non-operational awaiting the review of preclearance.

She continued by emphasizing that if a state adopts changes close to an election, "there may be little or no practical recourse for voters" because court challenges can be costly and lengthy.

The Brennan Center is a non-partisan law and public policy institute.

Duane Hall, a Democratic Representative commented "in my opinion, it is the most radical voter suppression bill in America… they have taken parts of bills from all over the country and combined them into one."

In a letter to the Justice Department state Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat cautioned Holder that her state's law will make it more challenging for students, minorities, and the elderly to vote.

She wrote she strongly encourages "the Justice Department to immediately review North Carolina House Bill 589 and take all appropriate steps to protect federal civil rights and the fundamental right to vote."

Near the end of September of last year the Justice Department sued North Carolina based on suspected racial discrimination arising from its stringent new voter ID law. The suit asserts that the statute is in violation of Section 2 of the VRA and would pursue the state to be subject to federal pre-clearance prior to making any "future voting-related changes." Section 2 of the Voting Right Act remains intact after the Supreme Court's ruling struck down Section 4.

Attorney General Eric Holder commented that "by restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access" to active voters as well as prospective voters. The suit was filed in Nashville, Tennessee U.S. District Court. The suit was filed just over a month after the Department sued Texas over its voter ID law. In a related action, the Justice Department is also pursuing the intervention into an ongoing lawsuit over redistricting that has been considered to be discriminatory by minority groups in that state.

Holder who called the Supreme Court decision "deeply disappointing and flawed," displayed his disapproval of the decision when he said: "Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court's ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law's remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected."

The concentration on the new voting laws has gone into high-gear as the country is experiencing a demographic alteration that is having a clear effect on its politics. On the presidential level, North Carolina, which has been a consistent Republican stronghold, has watched the gap tighten to a more competitive level as a result of the shifting makeup of their changing population. The state's Hispanic population has developed from under five percent in 2000 to more than eight percent as of its latest census in 2010. According to the University of North Carolina Charlotte Urban Institute, those statistics demonstrate that North Carolina is experiencing the sixth-swiftest growth of Latinos in the country.

In a statement by Rafael Collazo, the director of political campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, Collazo stated that "the voting issue may spread to Texas, Mississippi and Alabama legislatures. Collazo continued by saying "We firmly understand now and somewhat expected this will take place, where many states will in some ways make it more difficult to vote." He then added referring to the Supreme Court decision "The fact that it was overturned is very concerning to us because of the growing of the Hispanic community and more minority voters potentially… We felt we needed more protection, not less."