Appeals Court Curbs Voting Lawsuits Claiming Discrimination

Updated Nov. 20, 2023 2:59 pm ET

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that voters alleging discrimination in election rules don’t have a right to sue, a decision that could have a sweeping impact on voting rights if adopted by other courts. 

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-to-1 ruling, held that private plaintiffs can’t bring legal claims under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, a bedrock provision of the 1965 law that prohibits discriminatory voting practices. Instead, only the U.S. attorney general can bring such lawsuits, the court said.  

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