Spencer Overton is a professor of law at The George Washington University Law School and a Senior Fellow at Demos. He is a former principal deputy assistant attorney general for legal policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, and the author of Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression.
In June, five Supreme Court Justices rolled back the Voting Rights Act, widely considered as the most effective tool in preventing discrimination in our nation's history. Section 5 of the act required that certain states and localities "preclear" proposed election changes with federal officials to ensure the changes were not discriminatory. The Court ruled that the formula used to determine which jurisdictions needed to get preclearance was outdated and unconstitutional. For those of us who care about voting rights, the question now is how do we respond?