Ginsburg: Voter ID laws “predictable” after portion of Voting Rights Act struck down
posted at 5:31 pm on July 27, 2013 by Bruce McQuain
In an interview with AP, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made some comments about the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down a portion of the historic Voting Rights Act.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not surprised that Southern states have pushed ahead with tough voter identification laws and other measures since the Supreme Court freed them from strict federal oversight of their elections.
Ginsburg said in an interview with The Associated Press that Texas’ decision to implement its voter ID law hours after the court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act last month was powerful evidence of an ongoing need to keep states with a history of voting discrimination from making changes in the way they hold elections without getting advance approval from Washington.
The premise in operation here is that, unlike the majority of the court’s finding that conditions in the states under scrutiny had changed significantly in the 40 years since the Voting Rights Act had passed, Justice Ginsburg is of the opinion that those states are like a fly in amber – exactly as they were back then when they indeed had institutionalized racial discriminatory policies in effect. Of course an impartial observer would have great difficulty reconciling her premise with reality. In fact, that observer would be hard pressed to find anything to support her premise at all. While it is certainly true that 40 years ago institutional racial discrimination was indeed a very real problem it simply doesn’t exist any more.
“The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn’t make any sense to me,” Ginsburg said in a wide-ranging interview late Wednesday in her office at the court. “And one really could have predicted what was going to happen.”
The 80-year-old justice dissented from the 5-4 decision on the voting law. Ginsburg said in her dissent that discarding the law was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
It is interesting that Ginsburg uses an analogy that essentially validates the majority opinion. If “you are not getting wet” then the rain must not be falling on you. Or, institutionalized racial discrimination must not be happening. More importantly, there’s no longer a rainstorm. And make no mistake, 40 years ago, this is about state sponsored racial discrimination which led to the prevention and/or suppression of minority voting.
That simply doesn’t exist anymore. So why the desire for the “good old days” and not, if your job is to uphold the Constitution of the United States which is weighted very heavily in favor of State’s Rights, acknowledge that a law is no longer needed because dramatic improvements in the conditions it addressed have made it unnecessary. Instead, we get this lament and the implication that nothing has really changed.
Just a month removed from the decision, she said, “I didn’t want to be right, but sadly I am.”
She’s referring, of course, to the Texas push for voter ID which is a strawman. Why Justice Ginsburg is “sad” about that is because she and the liberal members of the court continue to believe that there can be no other reason for such a law except to again institutionalize racial discrimination and/or suppress minority voting.
It certainly couldn’t be a desire to ensure the integrity of a system most see as the most basic form of democracy and one that should only allow those qualified by citizenship to vote, could it? And it certainly wouldn’t be in reaction too a acknowledged population of illegal immigrants who have a vested interest in seeing politicians who favor their agenda elected? Of course not. Never mind that a staggering 75% of Americans support Voter ID requirements as a means of ensuring the system’s integrity. It has to be about institutionalized racial discrimination and minority vote suppression – that fly caught in amber. Nothing changes in 40 years. That is the line of thought that has to be sold for the federal yoke to remain in place.
That, of course is one reason Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has gone after Texas and intends to try to find a way to reimpose federal oversight on it and the other 15 mostly southern states freed from the fed in the Supreme Court ruling. And if you haven’t figured out the rest of the reason Holder’s doing this, it’s called politics.
“Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected,” Holder said in a speech to the National Urban League in Philadelphia.
Because the racial grievance industry still needs a job. If anything is sad, however, it is that the racial grievance industry has become institutionalized. We call it the “Department of Justice” these days.
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