Breaking: Supreme Court strikes down part of Voting Rights Act

posted at 10:15 am on June 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Supreme Court may not have been ready to hand down its controversial decision on same-sex marriage today, but that doesn’t mean they avoided provoking a huge debate.  In a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional.  So far, we have only a few tweets on this decision:

Here’s the decision.  The relevant argument is that the VRA departs from the basic principle of state sovereignty before applying law, at least under the old model in Section 4 for pre-clearance.  In order for the VRA to interfere with state sovereignty, Congress has to identify where racial discrimination in voting access is so endemic as to require that kind of intervention now, and not 50 years ago:

(3) Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically. Largely because of the Voting Rights Act, “[v]oter turnout and registration rates” in covered jurisdictions “now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels.” Northwest Austin, supra, at 202. The tests and devices that blocked ballot access have been forbidden nationwide for over 40 years. Yet the Act has not eased §5’s restrictions or narrowed the scope of §4’s coverage formula along the way. Instead those extraordinary and unprecedented features have been reauthorized as if nothing has changed, and they have grown even stronger. Because §5 applies only to those jurisdictions singled out by §4, the Court turns to consider that provision. Pp. 13–17.

The defense of those 50-year-old definitions did not impress the court:

(2) The Government attempts to defend the formula on grounds that it is “reverse-engineered”—Congress identified the jurisdictions to be covered and then came up with criteria to describe them. Katzenbach did not sanction such an approach, reasoning instead that the coverage formula was rational because the “formula . . . was relevant to the problem.” 383 U. S., at 329, 330. The Government has a fallback argument—because the formula was relevant in 1965, its continued use is permissible so long as any discrimination remains in the States identified in 1965. But this does not look to “current political conditions,” Northwest Austin, supra, at 203, instead relying on a  comparison between the States in 1965. But history did not end in 1965. In assessing the “current need[ ]” for a preclearance system treating States differently from one another today, history since 1965 cannot be ignored. The Fifteenth Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. Pp. 18–21.

In other words, the government couldn’t even make an argument that the endemic discrimination that required federal interference in state-level legislative processes still existed.  They just argued that because the conditions existed 50 years ago, they might still be a problem today — an argument that lends itself to unlimited exercise.  Small wonder the court found this irrational.

Note too that Section 4 impacts Section 5. The latter governs redistricting, which is another state-level legislative process that the Department of Justice can block in certain states using Section 4′s preclearance authority.  Without Section 4, Section 5 loses its teeth as a process with no jurisdiction any longer.

The court left Congress an opening to provide a more rational formula for Section 4, but noted repeatedly that times have changed, and extraordinary intervention will be difficult to justify:

Striking down an Act of Congress “is the gravest and most delicate duty that this Court is called on to perform.”  Blodgett v. Holden, 275 U. S. 142, 148 (1927) (Holmes, J., concurring). We do not do so lightly. That is why, in 2009, we took care to avoid ruling on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act when asked to do so, and instead resolved the case then before us on statutory grounds. But in issuing that decision, we expressed our broader concerns about the constitutionality of the Act. Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so. Its failure to act leaves us today with no
choice but to declare §4(b) unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.

Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in §2. We issue no holding on §5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions. Such a formula is an initial prerequisite to a determination that exceptional conditions still exist justifying such an “extraordinary departure from the traditional course of relations between the States and the Federal Government.” Presley, 502 U. S., at 500–501. Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the
legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.

National Journal profiled this case last week:

At issue before the Supreme Court in the Alabama case is a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires jurisdictions (mostly in the South but not entirely) to get federal approval (either from the Justice Department or a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court) before it can change any voting procedure. That can be something as big as redistricting a state’s Congressional lines or a town moving a polling place to a different location. The idea behind the law was to keep elected officials in the Jim Crow South from implementing ruses to keep blacks from voting.

This preclearance procedure is contained in what’s called Section 5 of the act and it faced court challenges immediately when it was enacted. In 1965, the Warren Court upheld emergency provision and said that it had to be regularly renewed. The first period was for five years but Congress has extended the renewals. The 2006 renewal of the Section 5 was for 25 years and passed the House by almost 400 votes and the Senate by 98-0–a testament to the law’s enduring popularity and effectiveness.

But the formula for determining who gets covered–a combination of voting practices and patterns– hasn’t changed since the 1960s. It applies to nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia — plus counties and municipalities in other states. Indeed, some states and cities have fallen under Section 5′s sway even though they weren’t legally segregated, including such as certain parts of New York City and towns in New Hampshire.

There’s reason to think the court is unlikely to allow those discrepancies to stand until 2031 when the act comes up for renewal. In 2009, the Supreme Court used the case of an obscure water utility district in Texas to express doubt about the viability of Section 5 preclearance procedure with Chief Justice John Roberts all but inviting Congress to limit its scope. “Things have changed in the South,” Roberts wrote. “Voter turnout and registration rates now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels….The evil that (Section 5) is meant to address may no longer be concentrated in the jurisdictions singled out for preclearance,” Roberts wrote in the majority 8-1opinion which suggests even a liberal justice might jump the fence. “The statute’s coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old, and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions.”

Will Congress address the court decision with a renovated Section 4?  Doubtful, even without Chuck Todd’s conclusion that it’s not “mature enough” to deal with voting rights at all.  The problem left by this decision will be to find someplace in America where state law creates endemic racial and ethnic discrimination at a level that requires federal intervention in the state legislative process.  Where might that be?  The opinion includes this chart showing the difference between white and black voting registration in 1965 and 2004:

scotus-vra-chart

The only state where the difference is outside the margin of polling error is, surprisingly, Virginia, where the gap was lowest in 1965. (Look at the improvement in Mississippi, for instance, and ask why it’s still on the Section 4 list.)  Rather than interfere with states’ legislative process before the fact (which is what the preclearance provision allows), the DoJ can address Virginia’s current statutes with the rest of the VRA now — without Sections 4 or 5.  Congress could designate Virginia only in a revised Section 4, too, but that’s going to be a very tough sell.

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VRA: Known as the “liberal dominance forever act” inside the Beltway

BobMbx on June 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Weak. Should’ve struck down Section 5.

Mark1971 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Section 5 is still in place though.. so doj still gets the final say on redistricting

Lib talking heads says there is voter suppression but no voter fraud

Are you kidding me?

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Hey, HAL, if you are reading this:

Told ya so!

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

States are guilty until proven innocent

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I wonder if this will affect gerrymandered districts.

22044 on June 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

The 2006 renewal of the Section 5 was for 25 years and passed the House by almost 400 votes and the Senate by 98-0–a testament to the law’s enduring popularity and effectiveness.

No, it shows the power of being labelled a racist by voting against it, and the cowardice of our legislators.

BobMbx on June 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Well, since Democrats don’t have the same lock on the South as when they implemented Jim Crow and worked to suppress the black vote, this shouldn’t be a problem for black voters.

Akzed on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

It’s half as crazy as Section 8.

Flange on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Hey, HAL, if you are reading this:

Told ya so!

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

haha ^5! :)

Anti-Control on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Section 4 is the formula that is used to decide what counties, states, etc. are subject to Section 5, which is “preclearance.” Preclearance effectively serves to “freeze” election procedures and to obstruct needed reforms, such as voter ID laws, because state officials have to get Washington bureaucratic approval for any change.

Outlander on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Be thankful for small things: A small victory for the states and federalism. One can only hope it’s an emerging trend at the USSC. But we all know better.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Yeah, lib judge still gets to redistrict the way he wants.

Red Creek on June 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Rev Al not too happy…. devastated

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Alternate Headline: Reconstruction Ends after 148 Years

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

One Crapstorm coming up!

james hooker on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

I was hoping for more-but this is a start!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Al Sharpton is calling for mass mobilization, LOL.

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Paula Deen apologizes again

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Outlander on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Many thanks…

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Section 4 established the formula that triggered more stringent requirements on certain states, required more Federal government oversight, and triggered the preclearance requirement created in Section 5. While it would have been better for the Court to strike down Section 5 (and, it probably will in the not-too-distant future), what it did was to gut a lot of the situations that triggered the Section 5 requirement for preclearance. For example, if a county in Texas wants to change polling stations, it no longer will have to get preclearance from the highly politicised and racialist Civil Rights Section of the DOJ.

From DOJ’s site…

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The Spokesman for the New Black Panther Party was quoted as saying, “Say what???

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

30 million new citizens from the southern hemisphere will simply need to be instructed on how best to vote, the preferred method of instruction being an envelope of EBT cards rubber-banded around a brand new Iphone 5, free of charge.

Bishop on June 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Someone needs to tell Rev. Al that it’s all about teh ghey marriage and cheap labor, er, de jure amnesty now. :-(

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Well, better than negative news…

Jeddite on June 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

So it’s not a tax? Well, I guess that’s settled.

trubble on June 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Post racial.

LaughterJones on June 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Not enough, and a likely olive branch ahead of the supremes making gay marriage the law of the land. Meh.

Rational Thought on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

MSNBC is going nuts over this.

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Without Section 4 formulas, Section 5 is moot.

And Congress needs to set up new formulas, fat chance of that happening any time soon.

Voter ID here we come.

sentinelrules on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Al Sharpton is calling for mass mobilization, LOL.

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Nothing funny about it. If he seriously calls for mobilization (and not just rails about it like some shout-radio host) a Ten-Million Muddyfugga March, he CAN start something.

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Clearly the North wanted to keep a thumb suppressing the South and they have now lost that leverage. Bring on the voter ID laws that liberals so fear.

Tater Salad on June 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

It is shrewd (although I would have preferred section 5 to be stricken down, too.)

Congress has to identify racist states, counties and cities. Heh.

Wethal on June 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Not enough, and a likely olive branch ahead of the supremes making gay marriage the law of the land. Meh.

Rational Thought on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Sadly, I think you’re right.

sentinelrules on June 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Msdnc hardest hit….they are upset about this ‘set back’

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

It’s not about injustice anymore, it’s about the federal government keeping and wielding power.

Paul-Cincy on June 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Some lib talking head says discrimination still exists on voting right sy

Delusional

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I’ve been seeing some of the MSM reaction. Apparently I can own slaves again.

Mark1971 on June 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

VRA: Known as the “liberal dominance forever act” inside the Beltway

BobMbx on June 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

aka ‘‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’’ aka amnesty

davidk on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

The 2006 renewal of the Section 5 was for 25 years and passed the House by almost 400 votes and the Senate by 98-0–a testament to the law’s enduring popularity and effectiveness.

Nah. It passed by those margins because people were afraid of being called ‘RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACISTS!;

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Clearly the North wanted to keep a thumb suppressing the South and they have now lost that leverage. Bring on the voter ID laws that liberals so fear.

Tater Salad on June 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Yep!

Carpetbaggers most upset…

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Msdnc hardest hit….they are upset about this ‘set back’

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Upset because they can no longer run roughshod over the 9 (Republican voting) states and their voting process.

Tater Salad on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Al Sharpton is calling for mass mobilization, LOL.

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A warm up for if Zimmerman is acquitted.

Just what would a ‘mobilization’ do anyway? It’s not like the Court will rush back to conference and start changing opinions just because Sharpton is making another demand.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Between this case and Fisher yesterday we are seeing a pattern that preferences because of the color of your skin are going the way of the dinosaur. There is no rational need to discriminate against a race, caucasian, 250 years after slavery ended.

Ta111 on June 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

MSDNC is going to be fun to watch today.

Lance Murdock on June 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Nothing funny about it. If he seriously calls for mobilization (and not just rails about it like some shout-radio host) a Ten-Million Muddyfugga March, he CAN start something.

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Maybe he go back to the 1990s, when he was relevant, and start something.

SagebrushPuppet on June 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

It is shrewd (although I would have preferred section 5 to be stricken down, too.)

Congress has to identify racist states, counties and cities. Heh.

Wethal on June 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

That’s easy.

Get an atlas. Close your eyes. Open atlas. Place finger on page. Open eyes.

Racist state, county, city.

davidk on June 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Yepper tater

Dear leader needs to get in front of this now
Chuck Todd

Yeah right after climate change there bub

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Big deal. Big, fat, hairy deal. Immigration reform is on the way, and like a previous poster stated, the DOJ still has final say over redistricting. How I hate the treasonous GOP these past years.

HiJack on June 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Just what would a ‘mobilization’ do anyway?

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Confirm every suspicion non-liberals have about Dullton, his ‘people’, and what to do about them. And that’s if it didn’t spread so far that it destroyed national order.

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

“RACIST!”

Mimzey on June 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I’m surprised they haven’t brought tingles on air…he’ll be spitting nails right about now those racist conservative judges

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Is this Roberts trying to make up with the Right after his ObamaTax fiasco last year and thinking we’ll buy it?

Bitter Clinger on June 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I am sure Congress will move to create a new formula but do you think we can get one this time that subjects jurisdictions to pre-clearance which allow racial supremacy groups to patrol polling places with weapons? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Voluble on June 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Court is done for the day, will release all remaining decisions tomorrow at 10 a.m., per Scotusblog. Since Chief Roberts read today, it likely means he will read tomorrow as well, since he typically goes last (also per Scotusblog)? That means Prop 8 and DOMA cases will be written by him — not a good sign. Bet it’s 5-4, Roberts with the liberals.

Rational Thought on June 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

“Shorter SCOTUS: No, you don’t win the argument just by calling the other side racist”

ace tomato on June 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

People will be robbed of their vote now
-al sharpton

The squishy gop will kowtow to him and the rest of the dems

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

It’s half as crazy as Section 8.

Flange on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Hahahahahahaha! Well done!

I agree with Rational Thought, they are saving the worst decisions for last, and then skedaddling out of town. That is what Roberts did last year.

herm2416 on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Nothing funny about it. If he seriously calls for mobilization (and not just rails about it like some shout-radio host) a Ten-Million Muddyfugga March, he CAN start something.

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Maybe he go back to the 1990s, when he was relevant, and start something.

SagebrushPuppet on June 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Exactly.

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Probably rational thought

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Not enough, and a likely olive branch ahead of the supremes making gay marriage the law of the land. Meh.

Rational Thought on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

From the day Judge Walker ruled in the Prop 8 case, I argued that the Court would use the case to strike down all SSM bans with Kennedy writing for a 5/4 or 6/3 majority because of his authorship of the majority opinions in Romer v Evans and Lawrence v Texas.

HOWEVER, in February, I began to reconsider my position as a result of statements made by Kennedy and Ginsburg and started to think that the Court would uphold Walker/9th Cir’s decision in Prop 8 and strike down DOMA, which actually is unconstitutional (marriage is a state issue). IOW, the Court would take as narrow an approach as possible to avoid the Roe Effect.

“It’s not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far too fast. The court made a decision that made every abortion law in the country invalid, even the most liberal. We’ll never know whether I’m right or wrong … things might have turned out differently if the court had been more restrained. The right to abortion might have been more secure had it been grounded in the concept of women’s right to equality rather than in the right to privacy. The Roe decision might have been less of a storm center had it homed in more precisely on the women’s-equality dimension of the issue.”

- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Columbia Law School, 10 February 2013

“A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say. And I think it’s of tremendous importance for our political system to show the rest of the world – and we have to show ourselves first – that democracy works because we can reach agreement on a principle basis.”

- Justice Anthony Kennedy, 7 March 2013

Not taking any bets because I won’t be shocked if the Court rules as I originally thought, but I think that it has sent subtle signals that it is going to let states be the drivers and public opinion take its course.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Would fifty more years be enough..? No, it’s never enough.

d1carter on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

So… 1/2 century old punishment of red states for Democrat crimes isn’t Constitutional? Holder(D) is going to be so butt-hurt.

DANEgerus on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Eric Holder and “his people” hardest hit.

onlineanalyst on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

We need to make sure the laws monitoring horse manure on the city streets are still being enforced. Because…ya never know when the horse barons might start taking advantage of the lax enforcement.

Mimzey on June 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Mark1971 on June 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Yer too late, LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ opened the Plantation… and many blacks willingly re-donned the iron collar of the slave.

The ‘rat party has the ‘slave market’ already cornered…

CPT. Charles on June 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

NBC confirms that Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia….

still racist

faraway on June 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

and here I was getting used to losing my country

DanMan on June 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

There are no voting rescriction in Memphis. They let folks vote with just a Library Card as ID.

Early and often. Even if they’re dead.

kingsjester on June 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Section 4 sets the criteria for exercising Section 5.

The Court says Section 4 is unconstitutional, but Congress can legislate a new Section 4. Until Congress does, Section 5 is moot.

J_Crater on June 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I’ve been seeing some of the MSM reaction. Apparently I can own slaves again.

Mark1971 on June 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

“again”????

Are you 150 years old?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

In 1965, the minority voting problems came from Democrat racists trying to suppress minority votes. In 2013, minority voting problems come from being subjects of Democrat urban political machines trying to multiply minority votes for machine politicians. One man, one vote, show your butt up to the polls or lose your right to complain.

Sekhmet on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

So, what exactly is Section 4?

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Specifically, Section 4 was the provision that said that if a state or county appeared to be engaged in racial discrimination in voting as of 1964, 1968, or 1972, then it has to clear all changes to its voting and election laws with the Justice Department or with a Federal court. The law specifically refers to the years 1964, 1968, and 1972 as being the relevant years.

My guess is that Congress will re-enact Section 4 but with reference to a more recent year.

J.S.K. on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

This site has already improved immensely since HAL is gone.

22044 on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

SCOTUS declares Jim Crow dead

J_Crater on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

New formula = any district that Obama did not win = RAAAAACIST!!!

DRayRaven on June 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Great quote from Roberts opinion:

“But history did not end in 1965.”

Robert_Paulson on June 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I want Al to show me where voter suppression is still going on…..more blacks vote now than ever before
What a crock

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

People will be robbed of their vote now
-al sharpton

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I get a kick when people like Sharpton make blanket statements like this, but never explain exactly how it might be accomplished — largely since no one would dare try it.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

If you can show a photo ID to buy beer or rent a movie, you can show photo ID to vote for President of the United States.

Moesart on June 25, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Section 5 is dead, at least until the Democrats win back the House.

Robert_Paulson on June 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Squishy gop will cave…just know it

Eeyore

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

States Rights, who knew.

Bring on Voter ID laws now.

D-fusit on June 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

The Ruling class has always had their slaves.

They had the black community until the 60′s/early 70′s (cheap beaten down labor).

And for the last 30 plus years they’ve had the Mexican poor that the corrupt Mexican government wanted to get rid of.

NOW, the Rulers want tens of millions more to cement their power against a rebellion in the Tea Party/Middle class.

Voting Rights Act, meh.

America??………It’s all about the Corporation baby!!

PappyD61 on June 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

But, but, but, how are they going to protect the 11M new dem voters from being suppressed? Not to worry, Chucku and Marco will resurrect the gang and get this broke voting right act reformed for the 21st century.

Kissmygrits on June 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

This is a huge blow to the Democrats. What Democrats do is create minority ghettos and then use those ghettos to create “minority majority” districts that get Democrats elected in perpetuity.

My guess is that what the Democrats are going to try to do is shift the focus to Latinos and try to use their traditionally low voter turnout to perpetuate the scam.

crosspatch on June 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Voter ID. :-D

Punchenko on June 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

The 2006 renewal of the Section 5 was for 25 years and passed the House by almost 400 votes and the Senate by 98-0–a testament to the law’s enduring popularity and effectiveness.

Not really, but one could think that I suppose.

Also, “popular” isn’t a stand in for “Constitutional”.

Jeff Weimer on June 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM

G

Libs upset today but will be happy tomorrow with SSM watch

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

This is a huge blow to the Democrats. What Democrats do is create minority ghettos and then use those ghettos to create “minority majority” districts that get Democrats elected in perpetuity.

My guess is that what the Democrats are going to try to do is shift the focus to Latinos and try to use their traditionally low voter turnout to perpetuate the scam.

crosspatch on June 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Don’t discount Republicans in this – they loooove the electoral “ghettoization” (for lack of a better term) of Democrats enables by the minority-majority district scheme. It’s one reason we control the
House.

Jeff Weimer on June 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

this and the AZ voting rights case last week is saying loud and clear that ALL states can set up their own voting laws.

unseen on June 25, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Right, time to cue in a rash of racial hoaxes. I say we get Oberlin college on this task. Then after, send in UC Berkeley grievance mongers to hype the protests.

jake49 on June 25, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Section 5 is still in place though.. so doj still gets the final say on redistricting

Lib talking heads says there is voter suppression but no voter fraud

Are you kidding me?

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

But it is section 4 that determines where section 5 is implemented. Without section 4 there is effectively no section 5.

crosspatch on June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

This site has already improved immensely since HAL is gone.

22044 on June 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

What happened? Did she “flounce” out, or was she banned? If so, what did she say?

Jeff Weimer on June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

So in English – what does this mean?

gophergirl on June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Rather than interfere with states’ legislative process before the fact (which is what the preclearance provision allows), the DoJ can address Virginia’s current statutes with the rest of the VRA now — without Sections 4 or 5. Congress could designate Virginia only in a revised Section 4, too, but that’s going to be a very tough sell.

Not so fast. There’s not much left in VA thats in play:

Jurisdictions currently bailed out

The following jurisdictions were once subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but have successfully obtained a declaratory judgment under Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and are currently bailed out. The date listed below is the date on which these jurisdictions were granted a declaratory judgment allowing them to bail out. Also included below are some examples of a stipulation of facts and consent decree in several bailout cases.

City of Fairfax, Virginia, including the City of Fairfax School Board – October 21, 1997

Frederick County, Virginia, including the Frederick County School Board the Towns of Middletown and Stephens City; and the Frederick County Shawneeland Sanitary District – September 9, 1999

Shenandoah County, Virginia including the Shenandoah County School Board, the Towns of Edinburg, Mount Jackson, New Market, Strasburg, Toms Brook, and Woodstock, the Stoney Creek Sanitary District, and the Toms Brook-Maurertown Sanitary District – October 15, 1999

Roanoke County, Virginia, including the Roanoke County School Board and the Town of Vinton – January 24, 2001

City of Winchester, Virginia – June 1, 2001

City of Harrisonburg, Virginia, including the Harrisonburg City School Board – April 17, 2002

Rockingham County, Virginia, including the Rockingham County School Board and the Towns of Bridgewater, Broadway, Dayton, Elkton, Grottoes, Mt. Crawford, and Timberville – May 24, 2002

Warren County, Virginia, including the Warren County School Board and the Town of Front Royal – November 26, 2002

Greene County, Virginia, including the Greene County School Board and the Town of Standardsville – January 19, 2004

Pulaski County, Virginia, including the Pulaski County School Board and the Towns of Pulaski and Dublin – September 27, 2005

Augusta County, Virginia, including the Augusta County School Board and the Town of Craigsville – November 30, 2005

City of Salem, Virginia – July 27, 2006

Botetourt County, Virginia, including the Botetourt County School Board and the Towns of Buchanan, Fincastle, and Troutville – August 28, 2006

Essex County, Virginia including the Essex County School Board and the Town of Tappahannock – January 31, 2007

Middlesex County, Virginia, including the Middlesex County School Board and the Town of Urbanna – January 7, 2008

Amherst County, Virginia, including the Town of Amherst – August 13, 2008

Page County, Virginia, including the Page County School Board and the Towns of Luray, Stanley, and Shenandoah – September 15, 2008

Washington County, Virginia, including the Washington County School Board and the Towns of Abington, Damascus, and Glade Spring – September 23, 2008

City of Manassas Park, VA – August 3, 2011

Rappahannock County, VA, including the Rappahannock County School Board and the Town of Washington – August 9, 2011

Bedford County, VA, including the Bedford County School Board – August 30, 2011

City of Bedford, VA – August 31, 2011

Culpeper County, VA, including the Culpeper County School Board and the Town of Culpeper – October 3, 2011

James City County, VA – November 9, 2011

City of Williamsburg, VA, including the Williamsburg-James City County School Board – November 28, 2011

King George County, VA, including the King George County School Board – April 5, 2012

Prince William County, VA, including the Prince William County School Board and the Towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico – April 10, 2012

City of Pinson, AL – April 20, 2012

Wythe County, VA, including the County School Board and the Towns of Rural Retreat and Wytheville – June 18, 2012

Grayson County, VA, including the County School Board and the Towns of Independence, Fries and Troutdale – July 20, 2012

Merced County, CA, including some 84 other governmental units – August 31, 2012

Craig County, VA, including the Craig County School District and the Town of New Castle – November 29, 2012

Carroll County, VA, including the Carroll County School District and the Town of Hillsville – November 30, 2012

City of Falls Church, VA and the Falls Church City Public School District – May 29, 2013
Consent Decree

BobMbx on June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The Court upheld Voter ID – at least as long as it follows Indiana’s model – in Crawford v Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).

Justice John Paul Stevens, an UBER Progressive, writing for the 6-3 majority in Crawford:

‘The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483. Because Indiana’s cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek.’

Further, after Eric Holder challenged South Carolina’s Voter ID law and lost in the DC Ct of App, he didn’t even file a writ for cert with SCOTUS because he knew that he would lose.

The icing on the cake?

The appellate court ruled that DOJ, the NAACP, and the South Carolina Progressive Network had to pay South Carolina’s legal fees.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

The Government has a fallback argument—because the formula was relevant in 1965, its continued use is permissible so long as any discrimination remains in the States identified in 1965.

So, these “progressives” were arguing that nothing should be allowed to, um, progress since 1965?

Socratease on June 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

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