Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Preclearance Struck Down
I was disappointed but not surprised that the five conservative Supreme Court judges voted to overturn the coverage formula used by the government to determine which states are required to get federal permission before they make any changes to voting laws is unconstitutional.
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law 48 years ago but today five men in black robes ruled that racism is no longer an issue, as far as voting rights. The 1965 Voting Rights Act "established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices (so-called "covered jurisdictions") could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance."
Like I said,I was not surprised at the ruling because Judge Roberts famously said “ The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Affirmative action has been sent down to lower courts for now,but it will soon be on the chopping block.
Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and other states with questionable voter suppression laws just got the thumbs up from the Supreme Court. Those states won’t rein in their controversial practices but instead stretch them to move those boundaries even further, daring the Fed to act.
Congress can renew the voting rights act because the court ruled that the current formula that determines which states are covered by Section 5 is unconstitutional, but it didn’t strike down Section 5, (although was hanging on by thin thread )which requires those affected states to have changes to their voting laws cleared by the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington, D.C., before they go into effect. With today's make up of Congress, I don't think that the appetite to renew the Voter’s Right Act is there. I bet there's a lot of fist bumping among those on the right.
The court's action might have just provided the fuel that was needed to get Democrats, liberals, progressives and young people to the polls in 2014. When Florida and Ohio imposed their voter suppression laws in 2012, it backfired because people waited several hours on the day of election to cast their votes. It’s going to be harder but not impossible to overcome. Remember those districts can be redrawn every ten years unless SCOTUS rules that census data can longer be used after the year 2019.
It's a "breaking news" bonanza for the media, with Snowden being on the run, SCOTUS's rulings,President’s President Obama’s climate-change speech, and a 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate by Senator Wendy Davis to stop the legislator from closing 80% of the abortion clinics in Texas. I thought I was going to sit back and enjoy the George Zimmerman trial but as it is, I was already using PIP,so now I will have to record some of the events to view later.