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There’s Nothing Supreme About a Court That Guts the Voting Rights Act

Forcing a 102-year-old lady to wait in a Florida voting line for 3 hours, gerrymandering districts to weaken the impact of the minority vote, closing down Sunday voting hours, eliminating many early voting hours, demanding ID’s that many can’t acquire – all aimed at African American and Hispanic voters and designed to cement red-neck votes for the far right are, in the opinion of the five members of the present embarrassing and pathetic court majority, just fine and those horrible provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, allowing the feds to oversee the racists voting-denying mischief of 15 states (of course, mostly Southern), are kaput!!!

Chief Justice, John Roberts, thinks things are just hunky dory now and so why would we need section 4 in its current form and by extension 5 rendered impotent at this point. Legislators must respond to “current” conditions he claims. Conditions that are apparently perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the 5 conservative Justices. So a couple of hundred thousand Florida voters are denied their constitutional right because of the draconian changes made to Florida voter access. The extremely elderly lady with that 3-hour wait was one of the lucky ones. Many voters, mostly minority, were forced to wait twice that long and longer. The Orlando Sentinel puts the issue in context in the story of voters who, in fact, didn’t vote. And that’s just what Florida Governor, Rick Scott intended.

Numerous states screwed with the system to try to make sure the vote fell along Republican lines and they used Voter ID laws as the lynchpins for securing repeated elections. The Brennan Center for Justice has deeply researched the national voting laws of some 34 state legislatures. It’s well worth a visit to the site to get a sense of just how intrusive and unfair most of these laws are.

What is truly extraordinary in light of these FACTS is that the court majority would have you believe that nobody is doing anything wrong and that it’s the court’s job to strike down Section 4 and effectively section 5 because they are no longer currently relevant and, at this point, there’s nothing to enforce. CNN reports Section 4 gives the federal government permission to determine which states and counties are subject to continued oversight. Roberts said that formula from 1972 was outdated and unworkable and must be done over.

What, on God’s green earth, could possibly be outdated and unworkable considering what is happening to voting rights in so many states? If anything, the 15 states under scrutiny should be increased. But no longer. That is because the court has pretty much nullified Section 5, the enforcement provision pending what is sure to be a contentious re-write of section 4.

The current court says that Congress must now assure the court that a new law can pass constitutional muster. This is one of the most obscene findings I can remember from any Supreme Court that I’m familiar with and one of the most ignorant. The decision possesses no objective criteria I have ever read on the subject.

The right-wing is dancing in the streets. No enforcement of anything they feel like doing to the vote in the states they legislatively dominate. It’s open season on the minority right to vote out there. And you know that yet another nightmare is looming in blasting a huge hole in the Voting Rights Act. One of the most honorable pieces of legislation in the history of our nation will now be torn apart by partisan extremists in the House and their clones in the Senate.

The irony is that the provisions in question were just re-upped in 2006 for another 25 years. That was before Shelby County, Alabama officials said it was just too burdensome to monitor fed directives (read, allowing blacks to vote) so somebody paid the freight for the goobers to take advantage of this ridiculous court majority and rip voting rights asunder.

Dennis S

Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history. Follow me on Twitter @demwriter

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