Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jump Jim Crow

Jim Crow rears his ugly head again in a devastating Supreme Court decision that allows state voter ID laws and a number of other discriminatory state voting laws, after the federal government fought so hard to defeat these pernicious laws in the lead up to the 2012 election.  "Chief Justice" Roberts calls Section 4 of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act "outdated," and that it needs to be modernized, yet cites examples where the section has helped many voters gain access to the voting booth where they otherwise wouldn't.  "Justice" Alito rolled his eyes when Ginsburg issued her statement in opposition to the decision.  The biggest surprise is Anthony Kennedy, who had what appears to be the deciding vote and voted for the repeal of Section 4.

Not surprisingly, this challenge to the Voting Rights Act came from Shelby, Alabama.  Congress had voted to uphold the Voting Rights Act in 2006, in a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, but here is Roberts saying Congress needs to review the provisions of Section 4, which Southern states have repeatedly defied and challenged since 1965.

One can only shrug one's shoulders at the decisions that have been rendered by this Supreme Court ever since Roberts was confirmed as the Court's top judge.  At times, he has seemed impartial, as witnessed on his position on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, but when it comes to voting rights he has consistently voted the Republican hard line, making one wonder what, if any, impartiality this current court has.  It seems bought and paid for by conservative business interests, which want to skew the electoral process in their favor.  If Congress was so worried about an outdated electoral process, how about overturning the Electoral College.

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