Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act



I'm not going to add much, since Cenk Uygur does such a good job here, but just remember that it's the five Republicans on the Supreme Court who decided this (just as it was the five Republicans on the Supreme Court who gave us George W. Bush as president).

You don't think they have a partisan political reason for gutting the Voting Rights Act? Ha!

Let me just close with some quotes from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent:
1. "The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the [Voting Rights Act] has proven effective ... Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."

2. "When confronting the most constitutionally invidious form of discrimination, and the most fundamental right in our democratic system, Congress' power to act is at its height."

3. "Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court's opinion today. The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story. See supra, at 18–19. Without even identifying a standard of review, the Court dismissively brushes off arguments based on "data from the record," and declines to enter the "debat[e about] what [the] record shows"…One would expect more from an opinion striking at the heart of the Nation's signal piece of civil-rights legislation."

4. "Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake­ proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination."

2 comments:

Chimeradave said...

I honestly don't know how the justices live with themselves. At least DOMA got struck down.

The constitution really made these guys too powerful.

WCG said...

I'm not sure I agree, John. Any system of government can be broken by fanatics. Look at how dysfunctional Congress has become, with Republicans filibustering everything in the Senate.

In America, far-right extremists took control of the Republican Party, and one of the results is that Republican presidents appointed fanatics to the Supreme Court.

These fanatics have been more concerned with pushing their own partisan ideology than in ruling objectively, moderately, conservatively (in the original sense of that word). But they wouldn't be in that position without Republican politicians putting them there (and without American voters putting them there).

No system of government is fool-proof. If we're foolish enough, any of them can be broken. We're not there yet, but we've gotten very close to it. And one more Republican president might well push us over the edge (at least when it comes to the Supreme Court).