Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court Says Racism is No More, Strikes Down Key Section of Voting Rights Act

A major decision like this, that's so obviously meant to pander too the white conservative majority and now gives them free reign to rework voting regs that favor them, how does this foreshadow tomorrows decisions on the two gay cases on their agenda?
These all smacks of Scalia's influence and if he's holding that much sway over the court...I cringe at the thought of tomorrows rulings.

Today, the Court made it harder for the federal government to protect us from states and localities that engage in voter suppression and discrimination.
SupremesThe Voting Rights Act (VRA), a key provision of which was struck down in a case called Shelby County v. Holder, is one of the paradigmatic success stories of the civil rights movement. At issue in this case was the part of the VRA that applied to 9 states (and several other municipalities) that had particularly bad histories of disenfranchising blacks in the Jim Crow South. The law states that before these states can do anything to their voting laws, they have to get the Department of Justice to approve the plan. That way, a white majority could not use its voting power to continue to frustrate African American voting.
Therefore, the law requires and implements fairness in elections because without the right to vote and without the right to have that vote heard (and not be silenced by gerrymandering and other burdens), equality under the law means nothing. It harkens to a time when Congress was both functional and brave, willing and able to confront large national problems -- vast disenfranchisement of African American populations, for example -- and solve them. That the VRA proved to be so good at addressing the problem it was meant to solve is why we're here today: the VRA is a victim of its own success.
Vra_johnsonOr, at least, that's what the Supreme Court's conservative majority would have you believe. The VRA worked, the five conservatives said; there no longer is such egregious and widespread voter discrimination in the South. It's time to move on. But any cursory look at the last election cycle -- voter suppression, gerrymandering, unprecedented burdens and ID requirements for voting -- shows how out of touch the conservatives are.
Shelby County, by hobbling one of the most important legacies of the mid Twentieth Century, is a victory for anti-government conservatives, a win for ethnic majorities worried about losing their stranglehold on the political process, and a long-sought accomplishment for the conservative legal movement. It is a loss for just about everyone else, including basic principles of equality, democracy, and fairness.


Unknown said...

I also believe the rulings for marriage won't be in our favor. It's times like these that make me ashamed to call myself an american.

Ulf Raynor said...

Aw Ginger, don't despair!
I'm thinking Scalia's attack on activist judges making moral decisions and citing gay marriage equality as part of that, rather hopeful, that he already has inside knowledge that the court is taking actions he feels is against his own.
He's just arrogant and stupid enough to be goaded into revealing the high courts verdict before it's delivered.
We'll find out tomorrow, I'm sure!