Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Voting Wrongs Act

Don't expect Jeb to sign any voting rights legislation if he's elected, like most Republicans who threw up their hands in 2008 and said "OK, we've elected a black president, what more do you people want" Bush sees the VRA as an antiquated, irrelevant relic.

The 1965 law, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, has dramatically reduced racial discrimination in voting. But for the past two years, its impact has been less clear. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the heart of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That provision laid out a formula to determine which states had a history of voting discrimination that would subject them to extra scrutiny every time they sought to change voting laws. At the time, nine states were affected by the clause. Unless Congress writes a new formula that would pass muster with the Supreme Court, the effect of the law remains muted. 
To Bush, singling out states for their historic racism is no longer relevant. "If it's to reauthorize it to continue to provide regulations on top of states as though we are living in 1960—'cause those were basically when many of those rules were put in place—I don't believe that we should do that," he said. "There has been dramatic improvement in access to voting. I mean, exponentially better improvement. And I don't think there is a role for the federal government to play in most places, could be some, but in most places where they did have a constructive role in the '60s. So I don't support reauthorizing it as is."

Of course not, because bruised southern white feelings are more important than the right to vote, Supreme Court even said so!

The scary, more serious part is this notion that the federal government doesn't have a role to play in guaranteeing that voter suppression is going on when southern states like Alabama are imposing voter ID laws and then closing drivers license offices in heavily black counties first.

This is exactly the kind of nonsense the Voting Rights Act was supposed to stop, but because it's been gutted, Alabama will most likely be able to get away with it and disenfranchise thousands of black voters in the process.

But that's the point: a Republican president won't enforce the Voting Rights Act at all.

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