The complaint — which was filed today by Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning — argues that federal preclearance requirements for state election laws are “unconstitutional.” [...]
Working to implement the Legislature’s elections overhaul, Browning’s office has asked a federal judge to approve four of the law’s most controversial measures: new restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, a shortened “shelf life” for signatures collected for ballot initiatives, new restrictions on voters changing their registered addresses on election day, and a reduction in the number of early voting days. In the 62 Florida counties not covered by Section 5, Browning’s office has already implemented the new elections rules.
You might note that each of these new restrictions is meant to reduce the number of people voting, and/or make it more expensive for people to vote. It's not quite poll tax territory (the new ID requirements being pushed by multiple states fills that role nicely), but it's still intended to be discriminatory by making it more difficult for people to support initiatives, to register, or to vote, come election day. Since poorer voters tend to be less able to overcome increased barriers to voting than better off people, this benefits Republicans. Same story as always.
I'm not sure why Browning is going all out for a "the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional!" approach. Perhaps it is the only argument they have; perhaps Browning is feeling especially emboldened of late, and thinks it's high time to make the good Republican case that having states implement discriminatory voting laws is their damn right, you federal government communists. Maybe we'll get to hear about "upholding southern tradition" or the like. Who knows? It's a brand new era in Republicanism, an era in which every element of progress on civil rights or economic justice that took place in the last hundred years needs to be dismantled, so we can get back to the good old days of slave labor (see: Georgia's new indentured servitude laws, for Christ's sake) or speculator-driven economic collapses.
Just contemplate that for a bit. Republicans are now fighting over whether to keep the 1965 Voting Rights Act. "Conservative" seems a weak word for that; reactionary seems the better choice.