Skip to comments.Supreme Court strikes down part of Voting Rights Act
Posted on 06/25/2013 7:40:20 AM PDT by NotYourAverageDhimmi
The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a civil rights law that requires some states to get federal permission to change their voting rules, but it struck down the formula for which jurisdictions are covered leaving it to Congress to redraw the map.
The opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. The vote was 5-4.
Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions, Roberts wrote for the court.
Under the law, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, nine mostly Southern states must get permission from the Justice Department or a special panel of three federal judges before they make changes. The rule also applies to 12 cities and 57 counties elsewhere.
The act is considered the most important piece of civil rights legislation ever passed. Congress has renewed it four times, most recently in 2006, with overwhelming margins in both houses.
But the law still uses election data from 1972 to determine which states, cities and counties are covered. Some jurisdictions complain that they are being punished for the sins of many decades ago.
Legal observers have said that striking down the map would mean sending the issue back to a deeply divided Congress, and they said it was an open question whether Congress could even agree on a new coverage map.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a dissenting opinion and was joined by three other members of the courts more liberal wing.
If the communists on the court were against this, maybe it’s not half bad.
For instance: documented instances of voter intimidation. We know of one in Philadelphia. Wouldn't that be ironic?
Great. So our partisan Congress is given the power to determine which states should be exposed to additional voter fraud. There’s no way they would ever abuse that power in order to rig elections.
But not good enough.
Reconstruction was allowed to live.
Sure, it could work in our favor now, because we control the house. Do you think that formula will remain the same if Dems get a hold of both chambers though?
This could be like the redistricting, giving whichever party is currently in power an undue influence on upcoming elections.
Sounds to me like the Court has just made the Voting Rights Act a dead letter. Since the Congress will never agree on how to redo the map, it will just sit in a corner and gather dust like a buggy whip.
He says they are going to mobilize and MARCH and demand congressional action,
good luck with the house Al , I am sure the GOP senators will sellout again though.
This is good and about time.
Basically, this put it on a death watch - any vote for keeping a state on this is effectively labeling the state as a bunch of bigots - who is going to vote for that?
What do you mean? The pathetic House will bend over and not even ask for lube.
They've had it for decades.
this was a current “political roadblock” where congress is incapable of rescinding a law whose time had past. Remember Holder ALONE was required to approve or not approve any change.
Now he no longer has real standing to oppose anti-fraud measures. (like one county one vote in presidential electoral awards; voter ID)
Of course this does not bode well for marriage because the pro-homosexual wing on the USSC. They firmly believe the born that way myth.
I see this as nothing but a loss. The only reason Demoncrats are upset is that they think they lost just a little ground.
That seems to be the trend on the Court. Tell the other branches (and by extension the voting public) that they need to live with and deal with the messes they create.
It was also the underlying rationale for Roberts’ (wrongheaded) ObamaCare ruling.
A 5-4 victory in the highest court in the nation is NO victory for the owners of this country, us.
Boy another 5-4 indecision. No honest person can tell me this is based on the constitution which is the ONLY criteria the USSC should be using.
5-4, 5-4, 5-4 ,5-4... = political hacks, political hacks, political hacks, political hacks...
What trash we have sitting on OUR USSC. Brilliant minds? Hell no. Political hacks is all they are and easily blackmailed to boot.
If the best and brightest legal minds in the country (we were told they were right?) cannot agree on what a small document like the US Constitution says how on earth can they interpret the multi-thousand page laws crafted by community organizing groups then passed by our unconstitutional ruling elite?
We live in a country ruled by By Washington elites, For Washington elites all the while the US Constitution forbids this kind of ruling elite. An once again, another day, we do nothing.
There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth .............
What is NBC saying here... as opposed to what? the less liberal wing?
No member of Congress has the balls to stand up and point out that racial voter intimidation these days is far more black-on-white than it is white-on-black.
I don’t think the Dems are upset about this at all. It’s going to be a great mobilizing issue for them going into 2014. Their base will believe itwhen told that this ruling overturned the voting rights act when it does nothing of the sort (preserving preclearance, just sayng that a 50+ year old formula can no longer be used)
I predict that it will instead be replaced with some sort of criteria. Although there will certainly be a lot of maneuvering to determine that criteria, it will give any voting jurisdictions that are affected a way to escape it by complying.
However, I expect it would also result in a lot of frivolous legal action to declare a jurisdiction NOT in compliance, like the American Disability Act has been misused.
We should accelerate the state by state takeover.
Eliminating the unionista style black liberation theology voting “assistance” on sundays is a good start.
Mandating voter ID without the need of DOJ blessing is a good start.
Changes can be made without any notice to the DOJ.
Except that the Reconstruction will now include Central and South America.
It should be requirement that voting districts be rectangular (to the extent possible).
Obviously this decision (and most other major decisions these days) had elements of partisanship (particularly among the 4 libs in the dissent), but sometimes the very fact that the U.S. Constitution is such a small, concise document creates disagreement about what it means. Take this case, for instance - the 15th amendment prohibits voting disenfranchisement based on race, color, etc., AND authorizes Congres to enforce the legislation with "appropriate legislation." Reasonable minds -- even "the best and brightest legal minds in the country" -- can differ on (a) what is "appropriate legislation," and (b) who gets to determine what is "appropriate legislation" (e.g., is that Congress's job, or the Supreme Court?).
the race industry now has no income stream. You no longer need to “pay off” al sharpton/jessie jackson/naaLcp/racism lawyers. This is their industry which has been closed by the USSC.
As a proud Southerner by birth, a current resident of a Southern state, and a US citizen, I want to know why laws are applied to me that aren’t uniformly applied to all.
<.....”Mandating voter ID without the need of DOJ blessing is a good start........Changes can be made without any notice to the DOJ.”......>
This is a good day for states....Voter ID should be heavily pushed now in every state!
So what happens if Congress is not able to agree on a new formula?
Preclearance was an issue debated when the Voting Rights Act was renewed for 25 years in 2006. President George W. Bush should have vetoed the legislation for this very reason. Instead he signed the bill and included Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton in the signing ceremony in July 2006.
No more Bushes.
I’m amused at all of the “good face” optimists posting here.
I’m sure they were the same ones who were buoyed last July by the SCOTUS decision that the Obamacare mandate was a tax.
This guy said it well....
“..... ‘tis a grand day to watch Matthews apoplectic, O’Donnell spewing saliva as he foams at the mouth, Maddcow flummoxed by a Constitutional ruling and Ed Schultz screaming f-bombs and obscenities at the Court............. Anything that pushes the stick up their behinds a little more is a great day for America.”......
(Poster at the article Surfing usa)
...Rev Al Sharp-head is freaking out over this.
How sad. Did I say that with enough fake sincerity?
I would like to see tighter restraints on absentee balots.
In the Twilight Zone society in which we now live, get ready (and I'm being more than half serious) for the federal government to permanently attach your Southern heritage to you, even if you move to a northern state, and for you to have to conform to strict "voting rights" requirements on where you can live and/or vote in this northern state in order not to effectively "dilute" minority voting power.
The "pre-clearance" requirement will follow you wherever you go, if they have their way. I'm dead serious.
“demand congressional action”
Fine. Boehner, please take this issue up for debate in the House, shelve amnesty for the rest of the term.
FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.
This was exactly the type of wishy-washy decision that Holder can effectively ignore. Nothing will happen to him.
As someone who is living in VA, I can only say, "Free at last, free at last!!!" Any Rep that now votes to expand Erich Holder's power over our nation given what he did in Philadelphia with the Black Panther intimidation of voters should be removed immediately.
I lived in the famous New Jersey "contiguous only to yachtsmen" gerrymandered district -- until the latest gerrymander, which put me back in a Republican district. Rectangular districts would make some sense, but gerrymandering goes back to the 19th century. Computer programs that are in use now would probably get around even that requirement. You'd see districts that are 250 miles long and a mile wide.
Paradoxically, the VRA is directly responsible for the current Republican congressional majority.
They could try to get around the rectangular requirement with computer algorithms - but they couldn’t be nearly as “flexible” as they are today.
We need representatives with some intestinal and testicular/ovarian fortitude to stand up for what is right.
Alas, the nature of politics precludes such individuals from serving.
This is annoying. The world HAS changed- a lot. When I am in my classroom teaching my students, the situation is the oldest person in the room (me) was born at the dawn of the ‘70s, therefore, 1965 is history. To my students, who are currently people born in the late 1990s, 1965 might has well have been 1865. Or 1765. This law reflects a situation that no longer really exists, save in the minds of a few doddering antiques and some people who make bales of political hay and cash off of race pimping. It should have been struck down in its entirety.
Also, when exactly is the South going to be treated as an equal part of the United States? Is Federal supervision of what is properly an internal state matter going to go on perpetuity, or is it going to take a 2nd Civil War to restore an equal place in the Union? (Which then opens the question- do we really want to be? :P )
What I fear is that soon the only thing they’ll teach about World War II is how the evil Americans bombed Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Dresden, and talk about the Japanese internment camps to the exclusion of everything else, and claim that the Soviets alone won WWII.
Not while I’m teaching it- the Axis had it comin’, and the Ivans would have never got anywhere without 10,000 American trucks and 15 million pairs of boots.....
In order for the VRA to interfere with state sovereignty, Congress has to identify where racial discrimination in voting access is so endemic as to require that kind of intervention now, and not 50 years ago:
(3) Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically. Largely because of the Voting Rights Act, [v]oter turnout and registration rates in covered jurisdictions now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels. Northwest Austin, supra, at 202. The tests and devices that blocked ballot access have been forbidden nationwide for over 40 years. Yet the Act has not eased §5s restrictions or narrowed the scope of §4s coverage formula along the way. Instead those extraordinary and unprecedented features have been reauthorized as if nothing has changed, and they have grown even stronger. Because §5 applies only to those jurisdictions singled out by §4, the Court turns to consider that provision. Pp. 1317.
The defense of those 50-year-old definitions did not impress the court:
(2) The Government attempts to defend the formula on grounds that it is reverse-engineeredCongress identified the jurisdictions to be covered and then came up with criteria to describe them. Katzenbach did not sanction such an approach, reasoning instead that the coverage formula was rational because the formula . . . was relevant to the problem. 383 U. S., at 329, 330. The Government has a fallback argumentbecause the formula was relevant in 1965, its continued use is permissible so long as any discrimination remains in the States identified in 1965. But this does not look to current political conditions, Northwest Austin, supra, at 203, instead relying on a comparison between the States in 1965. But history did not end in 1965. In assessing the current need[ ] for a preclearance system treating States differently from one another today, history since 1965 cannot be ignored. The Fifteenth Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congressif it is to divide the Statesmust identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. Pp. 1821.
In other words, the government couldnt even make an argument that the endemic discrimination that required federal interference in state-level legislative processes still existed. They just argued that because the conditions existed 50 years ago, they might still be a problem today an argument that lends itself to unlimited exercise. Small wonder the court found this irrational.
Sorry my FR friend but, I have to respectfully disagree with your defense of the USSC hacks, I do not give the USSC any leeway when it comes to understanding what the Founders intended.
Remember, we were promised these traitors (er Judges) were the best of the best and as such, even if they could not fathom what the founders intended there is an owners manual known to the rest of us unwashed as the Federalist Papers.
If your sole job is to understand and defend the Constitution, then it is completely unreasonable to allow ANY of these hacks any latitude and to tolerate ignorance of the very core foundation laws of this country.
If a person does not know the intent of the most basic laws of our land they have no business sitting on the bench of the USSC or any other court for that matter.
One of the most basic concepts of the Constitution is that if it is not in there, the Federal government cannot do it. That concept is now completely ignored.
Subsequent Amendments to the Constitution reflect the huge influx of dishonest lawyers into our political system. They become longer and more vague with each subsequent amendment. This is deliberate when you are a dishonest politician.