Checks and balances do work and today is an example of why we need the Supreme Court of the United States to check the federal government, either the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch. Today, the voters of Kinston have won…at least temporarily. In 2008, voters in Kinston decided 2-1 that we should have nonpartisan elections. However, we are one of many jurisdictions under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that requires pre-clearance by the federal government of any voting changes.
One bureaucrat in DC disagreed with the voters of Kinston and did not allow the changes, citing Section 5. This led to a lawsuit against Eric Holder, led by City of Kinston resident John Nix and others. Once this lawsuit gained enough traction the USDOJ reversed their decision, which allowed for nonpartisan elections to begin in 2013. Ultimately, SCOTUS decided to hear a Shelby County, Alabama case instead of Nix v. Holder.
Based on the SCOTUS decision today, it appears that Congress needs to change the formula, which would include the decision as to whether the City of Kinston requires pre-clearance in the future. Until Congress changes the formula, it appears that the voters of Kinston not only have nonpartisan elections, but also do not need to request permission by the federal government to make any voting changes.