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United States v. Board of Supervisors, 429 U.S. 642 (1977)

United States v. Board of Supervisors of Warren County, Mississippi

No. 76-489

Decided February 22, 1977

429 U.S. 642


A local district court's inquiry in an action under § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, claiming that new voting procedures of a State or political subdivision thereof fail to comply with § 5 procedures, is limited to determining whether a voting requirement is covered by § 5 but has not been subjected to the required federal scrutiny. Allen v. State Board of Elections, 393 U. S. 544; Perkins v. Mathews, 400 U. S. 379; Connor v. Waller, 421 U. S. 656. Such limitation inheres in Congress' determination that only the District Court for the District of Columbia has jurisdiction to consider the issue whether a proposed change discriminates on account of race, and that other district courts may consider only § 5 "coverage" questions. Hence, here the District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, in an action by the Attorney General under § 5 challenging a redistricting plan submitted to him by a Mississippi county and to which he had objected, erred in deciding that such plan was unconstitutional and that a new plan submitted to the Attorney General as ordered by the court but not approved by him was constitutional, and the court should have determined only whether the county could be enjoined from holding elections under a new plan because it had not been cleared under § 5.

Revered and remanded.

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