Skip to main content

The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case on the constitutionality of portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act was put into place because several places in the US (mostly the deep South) made it nigh impossible for Black people to vote.  I mean you can't have "those" people affecting electoral outcomes now can you?  So the offending states instituted Jim Crow era statutes like polls taxes, literacy tests and other hoops for people to jump through in order to vote.  Congressman John Lewis from Georgia recounted some of the more ridiculous versions from the Jim Crow Era:

Not too long ago, people stood in unmovable lines. They had to pass a so-called literacy test, pay a poll tax.
On one occasion, a man was asked to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap. On another occasion, one was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar -- all to keep them from casting their ballot.
In short, the VRA was one of the truly great pieces of legislation to come out of LBJ's administration; maybe any administration.  Not only does it outlaw outright discriminatory acts that prohibit minorities from voting, but it also names specific states that had such a horrible history with voting abuses that they aren't allowed to change any voting laws without prior Federal authorization.  I'm looking at you Alabama.  And if the Supreme Court is looking into the law, there's a possibility that it could be struck down.  This is rather worrisome as I don't really trust this court to determine if Alabama (the plaintiff in the case) is no longer racist enough to skip the whole run their changes in voting laws past the federal government.

The recent proliferation of voter ID laws that have been pushed through state legislatures in the last couple of years proves that we need more federal protection of voting rights, not less.  Those laws were designed to disenfranchise people.  Again, can't have "those" people affecting electoral outcomes.  According to the Brennen Center for Justice:

Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students.
Let's see, what do those groups have in common?  They are otherwise known as democratic constituencies.  The leader of the Republican House in Pennsylvania Mike Turzai, admitted as much back in June. Turzai bragged that Voter ID laws would ensure a Romney victory in the state.  Same thing with the Republican Governor of Florida reducing early voting.  They were both wrong but it wasn't for lack of trying.  But let's get back to Alabama.

Here's all you need to know about Alabama.  A recent poll done by Public Policy Polling found that 21% of those surveyed thought that interracial marriage should be illegal.  Let that marinate for a minute.

They didn't say that it made them personally uncomfortable.  They didn't say that they didn't think it was right. What one in five people in Alabama are saying is that people who inter-marry should be arrested. Now extrapolate that out to what they might believe about different races in general and the rights they should be extended.  It's not a pretty picture.  That poll was taken in March of this year not the Jim Crow South of 1952.  So excuse me if I'm not ready to believe everything in Alabama is copacetic now.

Voting rights and the exercise thereof should be considered sacred.  And no matter the party, we should be making it easier for everyone eligible person to vote not harder.  The Voting Rights Act is one of the ways we've protected that right.  It should be enhanced, not struck down.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  No, don't be afraid; fight. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hubbard Squash, Stude Dude, Ticorules

    Fight like hell. Fight shamelessly, like your life's on the line, and like that life matters. If you're "afraid," they've got you right where they want you.

    How can you "fight" a court ruling, right? While justices are supposed to be impervious to public opinion, if enough people are watching, I believe they can be swayed.

    Thanks. Tipped, for writing a detailed diary on an important topic. Rec'd, for stirring needed awareness and discussion.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:18:00 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site