To understand why Shelby County, Alabama is the plantiff in one of the Supreme Court's most controversial cases this year, we have to briskly run through the first two hundred years of American history.
1. Slavery begat racism
2. The South lost the Civil War
3. Racism remained across the nation, though especially intergrated into Southern culture
4. Jim Crow in the South reigned with an Iron Fist
So by the time the 1960s rolled in, and Americans of all races were demanding social change from the government, lawmakers met those demands. But they took into account the South's racist legacy.
President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, including the ever-controversial "Article 5" and its voting preclearance procedures. Article 5 is the reason Shelby County brought a case to the Supreme Court. This part of the legislation requires that certain (mostly Southern) states and specific counties around the county, receive federal permission or "preclearance" before changing any of their voting laws.
Shelby County is arguing that is procedure is outdated and a violation of Alabama's Tenth Amendment rights. An amendment better known as states rights.
Alabama is basically arguing that 2013 it no longer necessary to preserve African-Americans rights because we live in a post-racial society.
Thank god Paula Deen showed up to debunk all that.
That's it, yall.