« Tuesday Morning News Dump | Main | Putin: Nyet, We're Not Extraditing Snowden »
June 25, 2013

SCOTUS Strikes Down Key Parts Of the Voting Rights Act


States and local governments that previously had to have the Department of Justice "pre-clear" changes to election laws/procedures due to past discrimination no longer have to.

For example, SC had to get DoJ approval to institute voter ID laws. Not any more.

What the Court seems to have done is not strike down the idea of "pre-clearance"(Section V of the VRA) directly but Section IV, which sets out the formula for determining whether a locality is covered under the "pre-clearance" requirement. Congress used very old voting data when they last reauthorized the VRA in 2006. It seems the Court is saying Congress needs to use better data.

Expect a big fight on this in Congress and lots of cries of RACISM!

Added: From the ruling (pdf)

...The Fifteenth Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions.

(3) Respondents also rely heavily on data from the record compiled by Congress before reauthorizing the Act. Regardless of how
one looks at that record, no one can fairly say that it shows anything
approaching the “pervasive,” “flagrant,” “widespread,” and “rampant”
discrimination that clearly distinguished the covered jurisdictions
from the rest of the Nation in 1965. Katzenbach, supra, at 308, 315,
331. But a more fundamental problem remains: Congress did not use
that record to fashion a coverage formula grounded in current conditions. It instead re-enacted a formula based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relation to the present day.

Roberts wrote the opinion and was joined by Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito.

I agree with the outcome here but the logic of the decision is something conservatives should be very wary of. Essentially the Court is saying this is a legitimate exercise of Congress' power under the XV Amendment but they didn't like the method and data Congress used. I don't think it's the role of the Court to tell the people's elected representatives what data they may and may not use in the exercise of their authority.

I'm open to revisiting this conclusion after reading the whole decision but my initial skim of it makes me think this is the kind of judicial activism conservatives usually protest against for good reason.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 10:23 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Case : "It's hard to get up at six a.m. to be on time to w ..."

Tom Servo: "Collectivists, more precisely. No father, no mothe ..."

torabora : "Are there White Holes in the universe? Mmmmm? ..."

Les Kinetic : "Also being on time. So white. Except for the p ..."

Blonde Morticia: " I wonder which black actor will play the King of ..."

get a grip: "Posted by: FenelonSpoke at July 15, 2020 06:38 PM ..."

Semi-Literate Thug: " Why does this museum apparently want to set up b ..."

Anonosaurus Wrecks, Tyrannosaur Wrangler: "I would imagine that there is a spectrum of opinio ..."

mallfly the Georgia Peach: "re 351: I read that Spain's Franco did that to Hit ..."

Mr. Peebles: "'2.3 children is the ideal social unit?' This s ..."

Braenyard: "African American is part of the lie in the languag ..."

Dirty Frank: "He lives about a half mile away from me - If it we ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64