Can the Voting Rights Act survive the Roberts court?

The 50-Year Battle Against the Voting Rights Act

The 50-Year Battle Against the Voting Rights Act

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
Aug. 22 2015 2:04 PM

Amicus: Sock the Vote

On the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, efforts to gut the landmark law are as robust as ever.

Polling Place, Georgia
Teri Rogers casts her vote at a polling station in St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on March 6, 2012.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 24 of Slate’s Amicus:


This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. It was signed on Aug. 6, 1965, in the wake of several failed attempts to remedy a long history of poll taxes and literacy tests that disenfranchised black voters throughout the South.

But 48 years later, the Roberts court struck down one of the landmark law’s central provisions. And state legislators across the South wasted no time in imposing new voting ID requirements that some worry could roll back many of the civil rights movement’s biggest achievements.

On today’s episode, Dahlia discusses the long, embattled history of the Voting Rights Act with Ari Berman, author of the new book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.

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Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.