Thursday, June 27, 2013

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

If one had any doubts about the continuing need for a strong Voting Rights Act after Tuesday's gutting of the Act by the right-wing majority of the Supreme Court, look no further than the actions taken immediately by several southern States to curb minority voting.  Rethuglicans in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia launched new voter ID and other measures intended to suppress minority, young and poor voters in their states.  Now that they are free from the "pre clearance" requirement of the Act's Section 4, the frightened bigots in those States are trying to change the outcome of elections by changing the rules to favor them.  What remains of the Voting Rights Act can still be used by private organizations to sue States violating voting rights of their citizens (Section 2), but it's an "after the fact" process and so much harder without the resources of the Federal Government to block it in the first place.

When Rethugs claim that times have changed, the only things that have changed are the tactics and methods to undermine voting rights of minorities.  Poll taxes, literacy requirements, and police dogs have been replaced by more subtle methods of disenfranchisement, but it's a rear-guard action by those who know their ideology and policies would be defeated in open elections.

BONUS:  Ed Kilgore has a good analysis of the contortions Chief Justice Roberts was willing to engage in in order to get his "trophy" -- the gutting of the VRA.

BONUS IIA possible "fix" for Section 4?

BONUS III:  Wait until you read what Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit had to say about Roberts' gymnastics on the VRA!  (Posner's a respected judicial conservative, appointed by St. Ronnie of Hollywood!)

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