Home » Society

What About The Voting Rights Act?

Submitted by on June 30, 2013 – 6:24 pm15 Comments

Much has been made over the past few days about the Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 and what these rulings mean for marriage equality in this country. However, the very important and controversial decision handed down by the Court concerning the Voting Rights Act seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

What exactly did the Supreme Court decide in this case and what does it mean?

In a 5-4 decision, the Court struck down section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which provided the formula to determine what areas required preclearance, or federal approval, of any changes to voting laws and regulations, in order to avoid discrimination. The court reasoned that the disparity in the percentage of voter participation among the races in virtually all of these jurisdictions has all but dissipated, and that there is no longer a need for such federal approval. Justice Antonin Scalia, ”The Great Dissenter,” noted that the disparities had not existed for quite some time and that the provision probably would have been struck down a long time ago, but for what he termed “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Here’s the issue: As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his opinion, most of the progress that has occurred in voting stats between races has occurred because of the Voting Rights Act and the approval required before changes may be made in the specific jurisdictions (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and counties such as Los Angeles as well as other isolated cities and counties in various states) covered by section 4(b). Taking those away opens the door for racial discriminatory policies to once again rear their heads, and it won’t take long.

We’ve already seen proposed voter ID requirements and other policies that have a discriminatory effect. In fact, in light of the ruling, Texas plans to immediately put its voter ID law into place. Texas isn’t alone, and by some estimates, 11 states will institute discriminatory laws concerning voting this year. The trick is that these laws do not seem discriminatory on their faces, but have the effects of blocking or undermining the voting power of certain racial groups or income levels.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg put it, “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Roberts noted that it is up to Congress to update or replace Section 4(b) with a more current and relevant policy. Should we really have faith in our Congress to do that or anything else at this point?

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  • Obagi NUderm says:

    Thanks , I have just been searching for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain about the supply?

    My website; Obagi NUderm

  • Thank you for some other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get
    that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.

  • Hey! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  • Josefina says:

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you,
    However I am going through issues with your RSS.

    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS
    issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  • This is really attention-grabbing, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to in the hunt for more of your great post.
    Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks

  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.

    many thanks

  • watch review says:

    I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic of the blogger lovers
    except this paragraph is genuinely a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.

  • It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future
    and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I
    desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!

  • If you are going for best contents like I do, simply pay a quick visit this web site everyday since it gives feature contents, thanks

  • I am really enjoying the theme/design of your
    web site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?

    A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  • I always spent my half an hour to read this blog’s
    posts all the time along with a cup of coffee.

  • Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed
    reading it, you will be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark
    your blog and definitely will come back later in life.
    I want to encourage one to continue your great writing, have a
    nice holiday weekend!

  • I go to see everyday a few sites and information sites to read
    content, but this weblog presents feature based articles.

  • This is my first time visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing at one place.

    My blog post – Upright exercise bike Reviews

  • Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have saved it for later!

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

We want to keep in touch with you. If you give us your email address, you may receive marketing emails from the DJ Networks family. We hope that's cool.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.