Connect with us

Black Listed

Why the Voting Rights Act is Still Needed

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory
Chris Keane/Reuters

Usually it takes years to judge when the Supreme Court gets something very wrong. Think of Justice Kennedy’s opinion for the court in the 2010 campaign-finance case, Citizens United, freeing corporations to spend money on elections. He wrote that the “appearance of [corporate] influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy,” a point that remains hotly debated even as the amount of money in federal elections skyrockets.

But the conservative justices’ decision this past June in Shelby County v. Holder, striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, has already unleashed in North Carolina the most restrictive voting law we’ve seen since the 1965 enactment of the VRA. Texas is restoring its voter ID law which had been blocked (pursuant to the VRA) by the federal government. And more is to come in other states dominated by Republican legislatures.

Substituting their own judgment for that of Congress, the five justices in the Shelby County majority expressed confidence that the act’s “preclearance” provision was no longer necessary, and that there would be ample other tools to fight discrimination in voting. That the conservative justices have already been proven wrong a few scant weeks after the decision came down offers little solace for the voters of North Carolina, who ironically will have to try to fix the problem using the very mechanism of voting—which the North Carolina legislature is inhibiting.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Is Pete Buttigieg Black Voters' 2020 Presidential Dark Horse? Is Pete Buttigieg Black Voters' 2020 Presidential Dark Horse?

Is Pete Buttigieg Black Voters’ 2020 Presidential Dark Horse?

EBONY Exclusive

North Carolina Names First Black Woman Supreme Court Chief Justice North Carolina Names First Black Woman Supreme Court Chief Justice

North Carolina Gov. Names Black Woman Supreme Court Chief Justice

News

Trump Loving Teacher Told Class that Martin Luther King Jr. Killed Himself Trump Loving Teacher Told Class that Martin Luther King Jr. Killed Himself

Trump-Loving Teacher Told Class that Martin Luther King Jr. Killed Himself

News

Catholic School Disinvites Black Lesbian Speaker After Outrage Catholic School Disinvites Black Lesbian Speaker After Outrage

Catholic School Disinvites Black Lesbian Speaker After Outrage

News

Advertisement
Connect
Newsletter Signup