This all began anew with the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act in its landmark 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder, which removed a requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination receive approval from the Justice Department for all changes to election law. Republican legislators in North Carolina quickly afterward crafted a bill containing a strict voter ID law and various other voting restrictions, which have been found by federal judges to have a discriminatory impact on minority voters. (A federal court found the laws “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”) Before Shelby, North Carolina would have had to submit a plan to add any additional justices to the Supreme Court for federal review, according to Leah Aden, an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Now, North Carolina legislators can make such voting changes with no such federal vetting.
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