Still, election postmortems from both sides of the political spectrum have focused on the strength of the minority vote in 2012: Blacks and Hispanics, especially, were key constituencies contributing to Obama's decisive reelection.
“The America that elected and reelected Barack Obama … is far different than when the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965,” Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation, the group that brought the Shelby County case, told the Washington Post. “Congress unwisely reauthorized a bill that is stuck in a Jim Crow-era time warp.”
Shelby County wants the Supreme Court to declare Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional after the Justice Department nullified a local redistricting effort that attorneys argued played a role in the defeat of the sole black incumbent on the city council in Calera, Ala.
Some on the Supreme Court hinted earlier this year that they saw “serious constitutional problems” with the Voting Rights Act after the court sent a contested Texas electoral map to a lower court without ruling on it. Given that and other recent indications from certain justices, many legal experts believe that conservatives on the court are ready to rethink the future of key VRA enforcement provisions – at a time when many Democrats accuse Republicans in some states of trying to suppress the minority vote by tightening voting laws and registration rules.