Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A portion of landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 struck by US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling concerning the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I'm sure many who consider themselves Black leaders are upset about this development. Every now and again we hear that this law needs to be extended as it had been since 1996 according to the Tribune article excerpted below.

The question is what's the problem now?
The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the historic Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, ruling that Southern states may no longer be forced to seek federal approval before making changes in their election laws.

The ruling came on a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. speaking for the court.

Roberts said the 1965 law had been a “resounding success” and has ensured that blacks now register and vote at the same rate as whites.

But he said it was no longer fair or rational to subject these states and municipalities to special scrutiny based on a formula that is more than 40 years old.

“States must beseech the federal government for permission to implement laws that they would otherwise have a right to enact and execute on their own,” he wrote. This conflicts with the principle that all the states enjoy “equal sovereignty” and cannot be subjected to different federal laws, he said.
The decision may have an immediate impact. Texas has been fighting federal courts over its voter ID law and plans to redistrict its congressional districts. Those state actions were halted under the part of the law struck down Tuesday.

The decision leaves open the possibility that Congress could adopt a new formula to target states or municipalities for special scrutiny.

The decision leaves intact the rest of the Voting Rights Act, which makes it illegal to adopt or enforce laws that have a discriminatory effect on minority voters. But civil rights advocates say the provision struck down Tuesday was still needed because it stopped discriminatory measures before they could take effect.
As we take a breath from this decision as we're going to hear all types of hyperventilation over this ruling. I would encourage you to read this posting at Instapundit which covered this ruling. As a matter of fact it will show the hyperventilation and the legal analysis. That's certainly a good thing since well the blog is authored by a law professor.

Also I would encourage you to check out the SCOTUS blog that covers all US Supreme Court decisions. Instapundit is a very ideological blog geared towards the right wing, SCOTUS Blog on the other hand probably shouldn't be viewed as ideological. There's a special section on the ruling regarding the Civil Rights Act.

For a bonus, local reaction from one Rev. Jesse Jackson. :P

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