Chief Justice John Roberts Can Take Another Swing At The 1965 Voting Rights Act

Here Lies American Democracy

The DNC brought two lawsuits against the Terrible Sand Kingdom of Arizonastan —and the Republican Party thereof— over two Arizona laws that make it more difficult to vote. Both laws were struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for discriminating against Native American, Black, and Latino voters. And this queues up the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for another bashing.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-4 majority opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, effectively gutting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required states with a history of discrimination to obtain the permission of the federal government or the courts before enacting new laws related to voting. And thus the hounds were set loose.

Roberts’ new target is Section 2 of the VRA, which says that no voting regulation can be imposed that “results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

Striking it would allow Republicans to enact new voting restrictions aimed at disenfranchising voters of color. I can almost hear the gentle moans of Republicans fondling their sheets before putting them on.

And now with a 6-3 majority on the SCOTUS, the Coup Klux Klan thinks its day of jubilee is here (h/t Brother Charlie Pierce).

UPDATE 1: Axios morning email thingie has a related story:

Civil rights advocates are preparing to mark the anniversary of Selma’s “Bloody Sunday” — Mar 7, 1965 — without the late Rep. John Lewis, and as the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death approaches, Axios race and justice reporter Russell Contreras writes.

  • Why it matters: Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Axios he hopes the virtual events “rekindle the flame and legacy of John Lewis” for a new generation of advocates, and called for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

UPDATE 2:  Politico Morning email thingie

1) H.R. 1, the For the People Act — Last Congress, not a single Republican voted for the election reform measure that would expand voting rights, limit dark money in politics and curb gerrymandering. And that was before everyone at CPAC unloaded on it. Even DONALD TRUMP mentioned H.R. 1 in his speech Sunday night. And Fox News is reporting on GOP outside groups attacking vulnerable Democrats for backing parts of the bill.

Schumer has promised to put the Senate companion bill on the floor. But with Republicans around the nation looking to curb access to voting, don’t hold your breath.

(H/T Brennan Center For Justice)

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8 Responses to Chief Justice John Roberts Can Take Another Swing At The 1965 Voting Rights Act

  1. Well, given their ruling on gerrymandering (“it doesn’t violate the VRA if it’s done for partisan gain!”) I”m going to guess that their ruling in this will codify that the VRA merely prevents voting laws that explicitly say that minorities are the target of the law.

    Time for another letter to Sinema reminding her that “bipartisanship” does not mean the Minority gets to rule, and it’s long past time to nuke the filibuster and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act……for what good it’ll do, she seems to be rather tone deaf on this subject. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • ali redford says:

      Thank you for doing that. I write my legislators, too, from Kansas, and I understand how it seems like a waste of time, but it must be done.

      Like

  2. Jimmy T says:

    You’d almost think that there a concerted effort to eliminate majority rule, and replace it with a full of grievance, and mainly white minority. Merrick Garland on the SC would have been useful to prevent this tragedy, but may have not been enough. The Gravedigger of democracy (Old Mitch) made sure we’ll never know…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Redhand says:

    Roberts’ new target is Section 2 of the VRA, which says that no voting regulation can be imposed that “results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

    How can this statutory section possibly be legally invalid? I can’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sos says:

      “results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

      UNLESS it is FOR partisan gain?

      We are talking about Roberts here.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is not invalid, what Roberts will say is that these voting restrictions do not deny their right to vote on account of race or color

      The laws don’t say “Black people can’t vote” merely that if you vote in the wrong precinct your vote is not counted. See it doesn’t deny their rights on account of race, merely on account of location

      Could happen to anyone, like wealthy white voters in precincts where the voting location has been the same church for the last 50 years, or poor Black voters in precincts where they change the precinct locations every six months.

      This is identical to laws that require state ID, then the DMV hours are changed to 20 minutes on odd Tuesdays in months that start with ‘J’ in poor majority-minority counties.

      It’s not to suppress the vote on account of their race, it’s just an economic decision to save the taxpayers money.

      Wonder if the back of Jiohn Robert’s closet has a secret compartment like Judd Crawford’s in “The Watchmen”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh FFS:

    Liked by 1 person

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