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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the Voting Rights Act 0f 1965 in their latest decision of  Shelby County, AL v. Holder (12-96); and in their ruling, they claimed that Section 4 which described the coverage formula to determine which states must seek federal approval for changes in their voting policies was unconstitutional.

         Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his decision that “Congress did not use the record it compiled to shape a coverage formula grounded in current conditions. It instead re-enacted a formula based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day."

    The Supreme Court did not declare section 5 of the law which requires federal approval for any minor changes in voting policies especially in southern states unconstitutional. That being said, section 5 cannot be enforced without section 4 which outlines the criteria for which states must approve their policies with the Department of Justice.

    Roberts and his colleagues also suggested that Congress needs to update the coverage formula to meet current conditions of racism. So, are we going to trust Congress to get the job done; the same congress that failed to pass any legislation?

   This comes to an important aspect though that our rights should not be voted on by members of Congress or any government entity for that matter; the government’s job is to serve as the medium to protect and uphold our rights, not to take them away.
    But can Congress really understand the amount of racism that exists today?
Does the Supreme Court even understand what kind of power that they have given to politicians and local states especially for conservative ones?

    For Roberts to say that the coverage formula in Section 4 is “based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day” is inaccurate. People of color still face many of the same discrimination today and in some areas even worse. When it comes to the law, black people are often victims of racial profiling by police, and are then processed and prosecuted by a justice department that serves the interests of the private-prison industry which profits from more incarcerations.

    People of color are often the ones who are force into low-wage service jobs because of their economic and environmental upbringing. For example, the racism in Chicago not only shows in its predominant-segregated neighborhoods, but by policies by city hall who continue to create racial-diverse conditions by closing schools and health clinics; and as a result, those living in those areas are forced to either go to prison or to get stuck in the same racial cycle of low-wage jobs.

    In the 2012 election, many red states targeted people of color by enforcing laws that force people to show an ID or proof of citizenship. Not only did the right-wing target people of color, they targeted every minority and working class people. For Instance, many states shorted the amount of polling places, shorted the time of early voting and registration, and created long lines at the polling place in order to discourage citizens, many of whom had to work, from voting.

    Looking at the way things are at the moment, I can say that this decision of the Supreme Court is a disaster. What was seen as a huge victory for the civil rights movement has now been destroyed, and what to follow should be a major concern for most Americans.

    Leaving the criteria in Section 4 up to be decided by congress and rendering Section 5 invalid until the issues of Section 4 are resolved, only creates more power for the right-wing to discriminate against minorities and working-class people. We must ask ourselves: How far are they going to use this decision to their advantage?

    Now that they have the power to write the criteria for what requires federal approval, the right-wing can target anyone that they want. Based on recent events, I see no reason why the right-wing will not try to pass voting polices to serve their interests.

     Will they create literacy test again? Will they push for voting IDs and proof of citizenship? Will they target people based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation? Will they make it illegal for women who got an abortion to vote? Will they make so you have to speak English to vote? Will they shorten the voting time and registration even more in order to make it harder for working-class citizens to vote? Or what about conservative politicians who proposed we ban people on welfare from voting? The possibilities are endless. And now that they have the criteria to write their own coverage formula because conservative Supreme Court Justices like Roberts feel that the law is outdated and doesn’t reflect our society today, our basic rights as citizens that so many fought for continue to diminish.

    With this in mind, I fear a similar outcome in their ruling of DOMA.


Do you agree with the Supreme Court decision?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The trapped rat of racism is showing its fangs... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, alexforgue, ciganka

    ...before it gets disposed off.

    I thought racism was on the way out, limited to a few who were going to get it eventually.  Now I realize that we are truly still at war with this way of thinking that is a disease of the soul.

    But the rat doesn't understand it is a rat.  

    Sorry about my rant, but as a Hispanic I have experienced racism however mild in comparison to others but enough to never leave my mind.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:40:56 AM PDT

  •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alexforgue, ciganka

    I would say that the Republican parties "outreach" to "minority" voters is going very well.

    Wouldn't you?


  •  not the first time.... (0+ / 0-)

    Plessy v Fergussen was decided as Jim Crow was being legislated into place.

    this may be the first step in trying to bring Jim Crow back

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:58:09 AM PDT

  •  Does Roberts actually think (0+ / 0-)

    Congress at present can do anything?  or does he not care,  no VRA is ok by him whilst the GOP waste time on Benghazi and abortions....??

    The naiveté (evil?) is appalling.  

  •  I think the current Supreme Court... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alexforgue, reddog1

    ...understands racism just fine. In fact, some of their rulings indicate that they have mastered it.

  •  Its Not About Racism, It's About Winning Elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Roberts and his RW cohorts on the Supreme Court are doing the bidding of their corporate owners.  Getting rid of sections of the VRA allows Republicans to suppress the votes of minority populations with no repercussions - votes that overwhelmingly vote Democratic. This newly enabled Supreme Court voting suppression (along with gerrymandering), allows the Republican right wing corporate controlled agenda to win elections. The Supreme Court did not need to throw out Section 4 of the VRA - if they thought other states were discriminating (not just Southern states), all they needed to do was have Congress ADD more states to the list of those needing preclearance from DOJ for any voting changes, instead of scrapping section 4 altogether.
    So it's not about racism, it's all about corporations controlling our elections - Citizens United gave corporations control of the money part of elections, and striking down parts of the VRA gives corporations control over the voting suppression part of elections. Passing off the job of "updating the coverage formula" to Congress, just means that our democracy is effectively owned and operated by corporations, since (many members of) Congress are controlled by these same lobbyists.

  •  Of course they understand racism. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They know the GOP thrives on it. Hell, their favorite Supreme Court Justice got his start with racism:

    Friday, Oct 29, 2004 11:30 AM PDT
    Supreme injustice
    Across the country, the Republican Party continues to intimidate African-American and Latino voters -- an ugly legacy of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
    By Joe Conason

    The conservatives who now rule the Republican Party trace their political and ideological roots back 40 years to the Goldwater campaign, which they recall as a doomed but noble and prophetic crusade. As the radical right’s chosen heir seeks his second presidential term, events also remind us of their legacy’s most ugly aspect: the Republican Party’s continuing determination to intimidate and disenfranchise voters, especially African-Americans and Latinos.

    The living symbol of that tradition is William Rehnquist, whose serious illness underlines the judicial stakes of this election. The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court once made his mark as a young Republican lawyer in Arizona by challenging black and Hispanic voters. Today that urge to suppress democratic participation is represented by Nathan Sproul, another Arizona Republican whose name has become synonymous this year with schemes to frustrate voter registration.

    For them racism is a feature, not a bug.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:33:35 AM PDT

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