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Last night, Jon Stewart tore into the conservative arguments for getting rid of the Voting Rights Act.

2/27/2013:

SCOTT PELLEY: The Voting Rights Act has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, helping to ensure that minorities are not denied the right to vote.

PETE WILLIAMS: The law requires states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing how they conduct elections.

Oh, history of discrimination, gotta ask approval.  Like, if you want to take out a loan, but have a history of bad credit, you may need to show extra documentation, or get a co-signer.  Or if you want to move near a school, and you're a sex offender, you have to run that by someone.

But now Shelby County, Alabama, is leading the charge to strike what they consider to be this unfair provision of the Voting Rights Act.  They are hoping to become the Jackie Robinsons of people who had historically disenfranchised people like Jackie Robinson.

SCOTT PELLEY: But today, Shelby County, Alabama, challenged the law at the Supreme Court.

EDWARD BLUM, SHELBY COUNTY ADVOCATE: The America that elected Barack Obama is not the America of our parents and our grandparents.

....

Look, Shelby County, Alabama, is basically saying that since America elected a black man, therefore, ipso facto, wingardium leviosa, we are free now of racism.  Although, I guess the corollary to that would be, by their own reasoning, if we didn't vote for him...........

Oh yeah, OK.

The point is, Shelby County, Alabama, sees the Voting Rights Act less as an effective bulwark against backsliding into discrimination — i.e., the sex offenders registry — and more like orthodontia.  Nice, but no longer necessary in the South.  (audience laughter)  Meaning, it's already straightened out the problem, and you can remove it because it's straight, and not the...

you know.  You know what I'm saying.

I mean, seriously, when was the last time any states on the list of previously discriminating states tried to cook up some voting shenanigans, but were stopped by the Voting Rights Act?

PETE WILLIAMS (3/13/2012): The Justice Department has rejected ID laws in Texas and South Carolina.
Yeah, but that was last year!  That was like six Taylor Swift break-up songs ago.  The point isn't that the Voting Rights Act is still stopping discrimination before it happens.  It's, why can't we go back to the old model?  Of discriminating first, and stopping it later?

....

To the Supremes!

SONIA SOTOMAYOR (2/27/2013): Why would we vote in favor of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?
(audience applause)

Perhaps, um, no, no, wait, I think I have a reason.  The element of surprise?  Shits and giggles?

Well, Justice Sotomayor appears to be leaning towards upholding the statute.  Chief Justice Roberts?

JOHN ROBERTS (2/27/2013): Is it the government's submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?
No, we've been to Boston.  (audience laughter and applause)  Oh, and yeah, and my grandparents' house.

I would put personal northern racism up against anybody's racism, but this really isn't about personal prejudice.  It's about systemic discrimination, and if the last election is anything to go by, the Voting Rights Act should be expanding, not contracting.

....

But so far, the Supreme Court debate has been conducted in a very intelligent and respectful manner.  Ah, I wonder if we could get one of them to change that.  Anybody?  Maybe describing why they think the Senate renewed the Voting Rights Act unanimously?  Scalia, maybe?  Scalia?  Yeah, why don't you give it a go?

ANTONIN SCALIA (2/27/2013): It's been written about.  Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. ... This is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.  They're going to lose votes if they do not re-enact the Voting Rights Act.  Even the name of it is wonderful.
(shocked audience response)

Bravo, the Court's originalist!  The Supreme Court must act to strike down this law because Congress is too frightened to challenge it, based on the appeal of its name!  I'm assuming he would strike down the signers of the Declaration of Independence under the same logic.  "I could believe if John Hancock signed the I Wish Our Tea Was Cheaper Declaration."

Video and full transcript below the fold.

The point is, we no longer have to worry about fixing Wall Street's unacceptable risk and volatility issues.  But the good news about history never repeating doesn't end there.  'Cause you know what else we fixed?  Racism.

Ba-bam!  Ba-bam!

Like the Dow Industrial Average, black people in this country are at an all-time high.  (audience laughter)  We should have a little ticker under the screen, just tracking.

And with racism's structural problems fixed, perhaps it's time to get rid of the clearly obsolete Voting Rights Act of 1965.

2/27/2013:

SCOTT PELLEY: The Voting Rights Act has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, helping to ensure that minorities are not denied the right to vote.

PETE WILLIAMS: The law requires states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing how they conduct elections.

Oh, history of discrimination, gotta ask approval.  Like, if you want to take out a loan, but have a history of bad credit, you may need to show extra documentation, or get a co-signer.  Or if you want to move near a school, and you're a sex offender, you have to run that by someone.

But now Shelby County, Alabama, is leading the charge to strike what they consider to be this unfair provision of the Voting Rights Act.  They are hoping to become the Jackie Robinsons of people who had historically disenfranchised people like Jackie Robinson.

SCOTT PELLEY: But today, Shelby County, Alabama, challenged the law at the Supreme Court.

EDWARD BLUM, SHELBY COUNTY ADVOCATE: The America that elected Barack Obama is not the America of our parents and our grandparents.

It's a completely different America!  We got cell phones now!  Things cost more than a nickel.  And Coca-Cola no longer has cocaine in it.  Although, you have to buy it separately.  And in some communities, you have to be very careful — you're not allowed to have 16 oz. of either.  (audience applause)  You know what you are?  You soda addicts!

Look, Shelby County, Alabama, is basically saying that since America elected a black man, therefore, ipso facto, wingardium leviosa, we are free now of racism.  Although, I guess the corollary to that would be, by their own reasoning, if we didn't vote for him...........

Oh yeah, OK.

The point is, Shelby County, Alabama, sees the Voting Rights Act less as an effective bulwark against backsliding into discrimination — i.e., the sex offenders registry — and more like orthodontia.  Nice, but no longer necessary in the South.  (audience laughter)  Meaning, it's already straightened out the problem, and you can remove it because it's straight, and not the...

you know.  You know what I'm saying.

I mean, seriously, when was the last time any states on the list of previously discriminating states tried to cook up some voting shenanigans, but were stopped by the Voting Rights Act?

PETE WILLIAMS (3/13/2012): The Justice Department has rejected ID laws in Texas and South Carolina.
Yeah, but that was last year!  That was like six Taylor Swift break-up songs ago.  The point isn't that the Voting Rights Act is still stopping discrimination before it happens.  It's, why can't we go back to the old model?  Of discriminating first, and stopping it later?

As divisive as this issue is, imagine what the battle to renew the Voting Rights Act in 2006 must have been like in the Senate.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD (7/20/2006): The Senate has just voted to renew the landmark Voting Rights Act.  The vote was 98-0.
Is that even allowed in the Senate anymore?  You know how hard it is to get a unanimous vote in the Senate?  They couldn't even pass Ice Cream Appreciation Day unanimously, because, oh, Senator Crapo is lactose intolerant, and Senator Inhofe read a blog that says ice cream makes you gay.  It's Ben & Mary, not Ben & Jerry!

All right, so that's the law that Shelby County has a problem with.  The effective popular one.  The one both its Senators from Alabama voted to renew.  There's only one way to settle this, ladies and gentlemen.  To the Supremes!

SONIA SOTOMAYOR (2/27/2013): Why would we vote in favor of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?
(audience applause)

Perhaps, um, no, no, wait, I think I have a reason.  The element of surprise?  Shits and giggles?

Well, Justice Kagan Sotomayor appears to be leaning towards upholding the statute.  Chief Justice Roberts?

JOHN ROBERTS (2/27/2013): Is it the government's submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?
No, we've been to Boston.  (audience laughter and applause)  Oh, and yeah, and my grandparents' house.

I would put personal northern racism up against anybody's racism, but this really isn't about personal prejudice.  It's about systemic discrimination, and if the last election is anything to go by, the Voting Rights Act should be expanding, not contracting.

SARAH HOYE, CNN (9/15/2012): Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a new voter ID law in March.

ED SCHULTZ (12/31/2012): Wisconsin put in place strict voter ID laws.

CBS (6/30/2012): ... strict photo ID laws, which critics say make it harder for minorities and the poor to vote.

ALEX WITT (9/1/2012): New voting restrictions in Ohio.

FOX NEWS (11/7/2012): The Republican Secretary of State wanted to close early voting in the weekend leading up to the election.

CHRIS MATTHEWS (8/16/2012): Ohio Republicans failed in their attempt to expand voting hours in Republican areas, while cutting them back in Democratic areas.

What more does Ohio have to do to get on the list of states??  I mean, replace voting machines with shredders?  I mean, it's just....

But so far, the Supreme Court debate has been conducted in a very intelligent and respectful manner.  Ah, I wonder if we could get one of them to change that.  Anybody?  Maybe describing why they think the Senate renewed the Voting Rights Act unanimously?  Scalia, maybe?  Scalia?  Yeah, why don't you give it a go?

ANTONIN SCALIA (2/27/2013): It's been written about.  Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. ... This is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.  They're going to lose votes if they do not re-enact the Voting Rights Act.  Even the name of it is wonderful.
(shocked audience response)

Bravo, the Court's originalist!  The Supreme Court must act to strike down this law because Congress is too frightened to challenge it, based on the appeal of its name!  I'm assuming he would strike down the signers of the Declaration of Independence under the same logic.  "I could believe if John Hancock signed the I Wish Our Tea Was Cheaper Declaration."

I gotta tell ya, this guy's a piece of work.  Can you imagine what it must be like to work with that guy?  Anyway, we'll be right back with Sandra Day O'Connor.

Jon also noted how the Dow is at an all-time high now.
Meanwhile, Stephen noted Hugo Chavez's death, and then discussed Obama's upcoming trip to Israel with Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
He then looked at how millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito wants to send a married couple to Mars.  With poop covering the walls.  Lots of poop.
Jon had on former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who got two segments, and Stephen had on actor James Franco.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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