So I was curious what jurisidictions the Supreme Court ruling actually affected and noticed something interesting.  Bailing in.  In essence, if you lose a lawsuit or decide to plead guilty/enter a Consent Decree you can be added to the list of jurisdictions requiring preclearance under section 5 and this has nothing to do with section 4.  So a possible workaround to the invalidation of Section 4 is to just rely more heavily on this part of Section 3.  One strike and your out and now require preclearance.

Florida which I believe had a voter ID tussle and other voting changes last year requires preclearance under section 3, and not section 4 to give one example.

None of the jurisdictions that had required section 4 preclearance have been bailed in.  Yet.  But that is only because courts don't issue pointless rulings and there was no point in bailing them in when they already required preclearance.  But I suspect they are going to get frisky in their new found freedom from section 4 and quickly find themselves bailed in under section 3.  And if reliance on section 3 bailing in becomes the new norm so that invoking it is no longer seen as an extreme measure, we may actually begin to see more jurisdictions subjected to preclearance requirements.

It still may be hairy for a couple of years while these things shake themselves out, but perhaps the situation isn't hopeless.

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