SCOTUS strikes down Voting Rights Act

Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 08:48 am
From the SCOTUSBlog:

Amy Howe:
Today’s holding in Shelby County v. Holder, in Plain English: Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.
Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:34 am
Bravo to the USSC. Congress as usual oversee nothing and had the opportunity to change the "formula" to reflect TODAYS WORLD, but did not.

So, the Court was correct in it's decision.

Now, maybe the Congress will actually do their job.
Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 12:11 pm
There's something reminiscent in the court's ruling in Shelby County with the court's ruling in the Civil Rights Cases over a century ago. In that instance, the court held that blacks no longer needed to be the "special favorites of the law" and that it was time for them to stand on their own. That was in 1883. In a similar way, the majority in Shelby County thinks that blacks might have been discriminated against in the 1960s, when the VRA was needed, but that no one could possibly try to discriminate against them today.

And parenthetically, if anyone wants to look at an example of "judicial activism" - i.e. the court acting like it was a legislature - the majority opinion in Shelby County is a good place to start.

This decision will likely have a greater impact at the state and local level than in federal elections. There will probably be a rash of laws - redistricting, changes in forms of municipal government, and especially voter ID laws - that will be enacted in areas covered by the VRA. At the federal level, however, I think Republicans are quite content with black majority congressional districts in the deep South, as these make it easy to concentrate Democratic voters in a few districts while allowing Republicans to claim slim majorities in the remaining districts.
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Reply Wed 26 Jun, 2013 05:30 pm
Yeah, like I'm sure you were opposed to Jim Crow. Rolling Eyes

(And I'm not even a "progressive," by today's standards.)
Reply Wed 26 Jun, 2013 09:08 pm
I want to make a public apology to woiyo for addressing him disrespectfully. I was wrong to do that. I am too emotionally involved in this issue because I grew up during the civil rights era and know from personal experience and observations just how cruel and brutal Jim Crow was. I consider the Supreme Court ruling to be an act of betrayal. But I still should have been civil to woiyo. That doesn't mean that he's right. (In fact, the record of political conservatism with regard to Jim Crow is absolutely pathetic.) It simply means my snarky comment was not conducive to a debate.
Lustig Andrei
Reply Wed 26 Jun, 2013 09:25 pm
Don't be upset about your comment, wmsjr. I think most of us here agree with you that woiyo is out to lunch on this issue.
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 04:14 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Thank you. Smile I just have a short temper at times. Sad
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 04:20 pm
You ain't the only one..

Very Happy
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