President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, director of the Congress of Racial Equality on Aug. 6, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was unlike any other law in the way that it singled out for pre-emptive enforcement specific places deemed to have a history of discrimination.
In 1966, the justices decided 8-1 that they were. A new court will decide later this term whether it still agrees.
Editorís note: This story first appeared in CQ Weekly.
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