42 U.S.C. § 1973b : US Code - Section 1973B: Suspension of the use of tests or devices in determining eligibility to vote

    (a) Action by State or political subdivision for declaratory
      judgment of no denial or abridgement; three-judge district court;
      appeal to Supreme Court; retention of jurisdiction by three-judge
      court
      (1) To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to
    vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no
    citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or
    local election because of his failure to comply with any test or
    device in any State with respect to which the determinations have
    been made under the first two sentences of subsection (b) of this
    section or in any political subdivision of such State (as such
    subdivision existed on the date such determinations were made with
    respect to such State), though such determinations were not made
    with respect to such subdivision as a separate unit, or in any
    political subdivision with respect to which such determinations
    have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States
    District Court for the District of Columbia issues a declaratory
    judgment under this section. No citizen shall be denied the right
    to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his
    failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect
    to which the determinations have been made under the third sentence
    of subsection (b) of this section or in any political subdivision
    of such State (as such subdivision existed on the date such
    determinations were made with respect to such State), though such
    determinations were not made with respect to such subdivision as a
    separate unit, or in any political subdivision with respect to
    which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless
    the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
    issues a declaratory judgment under this section. A declaratory
    judgment under this section shall issue only if such court
    determines that during the ten years preceding the filing of the
    action, and during the pendency of such action - 
        (A) no such test or device has been used within such State or
      political subdivision for the purpose or with the effect of
      denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or
      color or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a
      declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this
      subsection) in contravention of the guarantees of subsection
      (f)(2) of this section;
        (B) no final judgment of any court of the United States, other
      than the denial of declaratory judgment under this section, has
      determined that denials or abridgements of the right to vote on
      account of race or color have occurred anywhere in the territory
      of such State or political subdivision or (in the case of a State
      or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second
      sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgements of the
      right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection
      (f)(2) of this section have occurred anywhere in the territory of
      such State or subdivision and no consent decree, settlement, or
      agreement has been entered into resulting in any abandonment of a
      voting practice challenged on such grounds; and no declaratory
      judgment under this section shall be entered during the pendency
      of an action commenced before the filing of an action under this
      section and alleging such denials or abridgements of the right to
      vote;
        (C) no Federal examiners or observers under subchapters I-A to
      I-C of this chapter have been assigned to such State or political
      subdivision;
        (D) such State or political subdivision and all governmental
      units within its territory have complied with section 1973c of
      this title, including compliance with the requirement that no
      change covered by section 1973c of this title has been enforced
      without preclearance under section 1973c of this title, and have
      repealed all changes covered by section 1973c of this title to
      which the Attorney General has successfully objected or as to
      which the United States District Court for the District of
      Columbia has denied a declaratory judgment;
        (E) the Attorney General has not interposed any objection (that
      has not been overturned by a final judgment of a court) and no
      declaratory judgment has been denied under section 1973c of this
      title, with respect to any submission by or on behalf of the
      plaintiff or any governmental unit within its territory under
      section 1973c of this title, and no such submissions or
      declaratory judgment actions are pending; and
        (F) such State or political subdivision and all governmental
      units within its territory - 
          (i) have eliminated voting procedures and methods of election
        which inhibit or dilute equal access to the electoral process;
          (ii) have engaged in constructive efforts to eliminate
        intimidation and harassment of persons exercising rights
        protected under subchapters I-A to I-C of this chapter; and
          (iii) have engaged in other constructive efforts, such as
        expanded opportunity for convenient registration and voting for
        every person of voting age and the appointment of minority
        persons as election officials throughout the jurisdiction and
        at all stages of the election and registration process.

      (2) To assist the court in determining whether to issue a
    declaratory judgment under this subsection, the plaintiff shall
    present evidence of minority participation, including evidence of
    the levels of minority group registration and voting, changes in
    such levels over time, and disparities between minority-group and
    non-minority-group participation.
      (3) No declaratory judgment shall issue under this subsection
    with respect to such State or political subdivision if such
    plaintiff and governmental units within its territory have, during
    the period beginning ten years before the date the judgment is
    issued, engaged in violations of any provision of the Constitution
    or laws of the United States or any State or political subdivision
    with respect to discrimination in voting on account of race or
    color or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a
    declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection)
    in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) of this
    section unless the plaintiff establishes that any such violations
    were trivial, were promptly corrected, and were not repeated.
      (4) The State or political subdivision bringing such action shall
    publicize the intended commencement and any proposed settlement of
    such action in the media serving such State or political
    subdivision and in appropriate United States post offices. Any
    aggrieved party may as of right intervene at any stage in such
    action.
      (5) An action pursuant to this subsection shall be heard and
    determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the
    provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall lie to
    the Supreme Court. The court shall retain jurisdiction of any
    action pursuant to this subsection for ten years after judgment and
    shall reopen the action upon motion of the Attorney General or any
    aggrieved person alleging that conduct has occurred which, had that
    conduct occurred during the ten-year periods referred to in this
    subsection, would have precluded the issuance of a declaratory
    judgment under this subsection. The court, upon such reopening,
    shall vacate the declaratory judgment issued under this section if,
    after the issuance of such declaratory judgment, a final judgment
    against the State or subdivision with respect to which such
    declaratory judgment was issued, or against any governmental unit
    within that State or subdivision, determines that denials or
    abridgements of the right to vote on account of race or color have
    occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or political
    subdivision or (in the case of a State or subdivision which sought
    a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this
    subsection) that denials or abridgements of the right to vote in
    contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) of this
    section have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or
    subdivision, or if, after the issuance of such declaratory
    judgment, a consent decree, settlement, or agreement has been
    entered into resulting in any abandonment of a voting practice
    challenged on such grounds.
      (6) If, after two years from the date of the filing of a
    declaratory judgment under this subsection, no date has been set
    for a hearing in such action, and that delay has not been the
    result of an avoidable delay on the part of counsel for any party,
    the chief judge of the United States District Court for the
    District of Columbia may request the Judicial Council for the
    Circuit of the District of Columbia to provide the necessary
    judicial resources to expedite any action filed under this section.
    If such resources are unavailable within the circuit, the chief
    judge shall file a certificate of necessity in accordance with
    section 292(d) of title 28.
      (7) The Congress shall reconsider the provisions of this section
    at the end of the fifteen-year period following the effective date
    of the amendments made by the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta
    Scott King, Ceésar E. Chaávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William
    C. Velaásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act
    Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.
      (8) The provisions of this section shall expire at the end of the
    twenty-five-year period following the effective date of the
    amendments made by the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott
    King, Ceésar E. Chaávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C.
    Velaásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act
    Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.
      (9) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Attorney General
    from consenting to an entry of judgment if based upon a showing of
    objective and compelling evidence by the plaintiff, and upon
    investigation, he is satisfied that the State or political
    subdivision has complied with the requirements of subsection (a)(1)
    of this section. Any aggrieved party may as of right intervene at
    any stage in such action.
    (b) Required factual determinations necessary to allow suspension
      of compliance with tests and devices; publication in Federal
      Register
      The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply in
    any State or in any political subdivision of a State which (1) the
    Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1964, any
    test or device, and with respect to which (2) the Director of the
    Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the persons of
    voting age residing therein were registered on November 1, 1964, or
    that less than 50 per centum of such persons voted in the
    presidential election of November 1964. On and after August 6,
    1970, in addition to any State or political subdivision of a State
    determined to be subject to subsection (a) of this section pursuant
    to the previous sentence, the provisions of subsection (a) of this
    section shall apply in any State or any political subdivision of a
    State which (i) the Attorney General determines maintained on
    November 1, 1968, any test or device, and with respect to which
    (ii) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 per
    centum of the persons of voting age residing therein were
    registered on November 1, 1968, or that less than 50 per centum of
    such persons voted in the presidential election of November 1968.
    On and after August 6, 1975, in addition to any State or political
    subdivision of a State determined to be subject to subsection (a)
    of this section pursuant to the previous two sentences, the
    provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply in any
    State or any political subdivision of a State which (i) the
    Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1972, any
    test or device, and with respect to which (ii) the Director of the
    Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the citizens of
    voting age were registered on November 1, 1972, or that less than
    50 per centum of such persons voted in the Presidential election of
    November 1972.
      A determination or certification of the Attorney General or of
    the Director of the Census under this section or under section
    1973f or 1973k of this title shall not be reviewable in any court
    and shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
    (c) "Test or device" defined
      The phrase "test or device" shall mean any requirement that a
    person as a prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1)
    demonstrate the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret
    any matter, (2) demonstrate any educational achievement or his
    knowledge of any particular subject, (3) possess good moral
    character, or (4) prove his qualifications by the voucher of
    registered voters or members of any other class.
    (d) Required frequency, continuation and probable recurrence of
      incidents of denial or abridgement to constitute forbidden use of
      tests or devices
      For purposes of this section no State or political subdivision
    shall be determined to have engaged in the use of tests or devices
    for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the
    right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of
    the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section if
    (1) incidents of such use have been few in number and have been
    promptly and effectively corrected by State or local action, (2)
    the continuing effect of such incidents has been eliminated, and
    (3) there is no reasonable probability of their recurrence in the
    future.
    (e) Completion of requisite grade level of education in American-
      flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was
      other than English
      (1) Congress hereby declares that to secure the rights under the
    fourteenth amendment of persons educated in American-flag schools
    in which the predominant classroom language was other than English,
    it is necessary to prohibit the States from conditioning the right
    to vote of such persons on ability to read, write, understand, or
    interpret any matter in the English language.
      (2) No person who demonstrates that he has successfully completed
    the sixth primary grade in a public school in, or a private school
    accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or
    the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom
    language was other than English, shall be denied the right to vote
    in any Federal, State, or local election because of his inability
    to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English
    language, except that in States in which State law provides that a
    different level of education is presumptive of literacy, he shall
    demonstrate that he has successfully completed an equivalent level
    of education in a public school in, or a private school accredited
    by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the
    Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom
    language was other than English.
    (f) Congressional findings of voting discrimination against
      language minorities; prohibition of English-only elections; other
      remedial measures
      (1) The Congress finds that voting discrimination against
    citizens of language minorities is pervasive and national in scope.
    Such minority citizens are from environments in which the dominant
    language is other than English. In addition they have been denied
    equal educational opportunities by State and local governments,
    resulting in severe disabilities and continuing illiteracy in the
    English language. The Congress further finds that, where State and
    local officials conduct elections only in English, language
    minority citizens are excluded from participating in the electoral
    process. In many areas of the country, this exclusion is aggravated
    by acts of physical, economic, and political intimidation. The
    Congress declares that, in order to enforce the guarantees of the
    fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the United States
    Constitution, it is necessary to eliminate such discrimination by
    prohibiting English-only elections, and by prescribing other
    remedial devices.
      (2) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or
    standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any
    State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any
    citizen of the United States to vote because he is a member of a
    language minority group.
      (3) In addition to the meaning given the term under subsection
    (c) of this section, the term "test or device" shall also mean any
    practice or requirement by which any State or political subdivision
    provided any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions,
    assistance, or other materials or information relating to the
    electoral process, including ballots, only in the English language,
    where the Director of the Census determines that more than five per
    centum of the citizens of voting age residing in such State or
    political subdivision are members of a single language minority.
    With respect to subsection (b) of this section, the term "test or
    device", as defined in this subsection, shall be employed only in
    making the determinations under the third sentence of that
    subsection.
      (4) Whenever any State or political subdivision subject to the
    prohibitions of the second sentence of subsection (a) of this
    section provides any registration or voting notices, forms,
    instructions, assistance, or other materials or information
    relating to the electoral process, including ballots, it shall
    provide them in the language of the applicable language minority
    group as well as in the English language: Provided, That where the
    language of the applicable minority group is oral or unwritten or
    in the case of Alaskan Natives and American Indians, if the
    predominate language is historically unwritten, the State or
    political subdivision is only required to furnish oral
    instructions, assistance, or other information relating to
    registration and voting.