This ruling in the case AR State Conference NAACP v. AR Board of Apportionment dropped six days ago. Why is this not being reported? I would’ve missed it if I hadn’t caught this on an obscure YouTube channel.
On January 30th, the Federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a lower court ruling that people denied their right to vote cannot sue. This court action diminishes Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit included a Trump appointee, U.S. Circuit Judge David Stras. It’s an appeal of another Trump appointee’s original ruling in November. According to Reuters:
U.S. Circuit Judge David Stras, another Trump appointee, the 8th Circuit held that the law does not lay out a “private right of action,” even though courts including the Supreme Court have taken on such cases for decades.
The ruling says private citizens have no standing to sue unless they can show monetary losses. Apparently, that’s the only conservative standard for any case involving the denial of rights by a government entity. (It does imply that actions by regulators will be the predominant number of suits now. The courts must protect against those at all costs!) The SCOTUS made a similar ruling concerning Trump’s flagrant violations of the emolument clause. Now, only the Department of Justice can bring suits involving the VRA. The DoJ will need a much higher budget and more personnel to handle the additional caseload.
These rulings should strike fear in everyone because they imply that citizens have no effective recourse unless they can put a dollar amount on violations of their rights. It’s also ironic that conservative judges think that only the government should handle and pay for VRA violations.
Donald J. Trump, a man who led an attempted coup, would’ve never considered the Constitution in making his appointments. He’s openly said he’d suspend the Constitution if he’s ever allowed back into office. His judicial appointments are leading their own coup, denying rights established for fifty years or more.
Besides Reuters, a British outlet, the story has been reported only by NPR and AP. A Google search reveals no Fox, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, or the New York Times coverage. The lack of coverage indicates that culture warriors have “captured” the major press outlets, and mopping up the remnants is the only remaining task for complete conquest.
I hope President Joe Biden’s antitrust effort breaks up the media conglomerates. The consolidation of outlets under a handful of corporations attacks free speech directly, and should’ve never been allowed.
The ruling only applies to the states within the 8th Circuit’s jurisdiction: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. However, if the plaintiff appeal to the Supreme Court, there’s a good chance it will backfire. The SCOTUS might make this case law a nationwide policy.
After this ruling, conservatives can’t deny or hedge about their racism; they could only argue that it’s “just.” Post-Trump conservative judges have gained a solid reputation for sophistry and spurious reasoning regarding both precedent and rights. Their next step back to Jim Crow will be to throw out most VRA cases brought by the Justice Department for trivial reasons.