This Case Note examines a recent Supreme Court decision that collapses the purpose and effect prongs of Section 5, effectively lowering the barrier to preclearance for covered jurisdictions. In Reno v. Bossier Parish School Board II the Court determined that Section 5 disallows only voting plans that are enacted with a retrogressive purpose (i.e., with the purpose to "worsen" the position of minority voters). The Court held that Section 5 does not prohibit preclearance of a plan enacted with a discriminatory purpose but without a retrogressive effect. Evidence of a Section 2 violation alone will not be enough to prove a jurisdiction's discriminatory purpose and prevent Section 5 preclearance.
Alaina C. Beverly,
Lowering the Preclearance Hurdle Reno v. Bossier Parish School Board, 120 S. Ct. 866 (2000),
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol5/iss2/4