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View Diary: The Voting Rights Act has been gutted (301 comments)

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  •  He's very very clever. This was a sneaky way (20+ / 0-)

    to disembowel Section 5 -- knowing Congress can't pass a bill that allows all members to go to the bathroom much less a bill that would come up with an "updated" formula to determine which areas of the country need pre-clearance.
    I think it's his way of pretending that the Court is not a partisan institution. Ha!

    While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

    by Tamar on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:31:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That may indeed be his motivation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward

      On the other hand, you can't exactly blame the court for expecting Congress to do their job...even if they know they won't.

      Black Holes Suck.

      by Pi Li on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:36:55 AM PDT

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      •  Congress did do the job -- there was lots of (16+ / 0-)

        evidence of continued efforts to deny voting rights in the hearings in 2006. There's no reason a "history of violations" shouldn't include examples from decades earlier when they had evidence of those behaviors continuing to the present.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:38:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I understand it, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B

          in 2006 they extended the temporary provision for another 25 years, and did not change the formula used to determine who required pre-approval.

          •  The formula is kind of a red herring. (0+ / 0-)

            If Congress, in 2009, had decided to write some voting rights legislation and decided without doing any additional fact-finding that the best way to distinguish problem jurisdictions from non-problem jurisdictions was whether they used a literacy test in 1960, that would probably be arbitrary.

            But when Congress renewed the Act, it knew which jurisdictions were covered, so it could look at (and, indeed, made findings on) the recent history of covered jurisdictions and found that there were still problems.

            Now the VRA's coverage was probably somewhat over-broad--I don't know for a fact, but I doubt Congress made findings on every single jurisdiction covered by the VRA--and under-broad, as it didn't consider whether new jurisdictions should be added. But Congress has never been required to enact legislation with surgical precision, particularly when acting within its express powers on legislation that doesn't burden fundamental rights or affect suspect classes (race, gender, ethnicity, &c.). Typically, the standard is that legislation must be rationally related to a legitimate government interest, which is easily met here--on balance, covered jurisdictions still have greater problems than non-covered. But here, the Court impliedly rejects that standard without saying what standard should be applied to legislation authorized by the Reconstruction Amendments.

          •  However, the list of jurisdictions under the ban (0+ / 0-)

            has been updated regularly, in accordance with the bailout provisions of the VRA. Any jurisdiction that stops voter suppression can after 10 years apply to be removed from the list. A significant number of local jurisdictions plus New Hampshire have gotten their acts together and done just that. Former Confederacy and Jim Crow states, no.

            Jurisdictions requiring preclearance

            The Usual Suspects on the Court are lying when they claim that the standard does not take recent behavior into account.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:46:35 PM PDT

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      •  The court finds congressional act suddenly (5+ / 0-)

        unconstitutional after allowing standing for the law that was passed and re-enacted by that very body.

        ... you can't exactly blame the court for expecting Congress to do their job...
        The court is issuing a new job description and in effect saying that times have changed and big discrimination is a thing of the past, now there is maybe a teeny tiny bit and it can be dealt with after the damage is done until Congress falls in line with SCOTUS blinkered world view.

        I find it all phenomenally out of touch with reality and stunning over-reach.

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