Friday, January 09, 2009

Supremes Going After Voting Rights Act

Today the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case brought to it by a tiny utilities district in Austin, a district that claims that Texas is no longer a place where personal voting rights are in jeopardy.

At issue is the central provision of the Voting Rights Act, where any changes in voting procedures need to be reviewed by the feds first. It seems that some areas of the former slave states try to suppress minority voters from casting their ballot, and this provision seeks to level the field.

Make things fair.

But now, the enforcement of this provision of the VRA in some areas and not others is viewed as discriminatory by the utility district, whose boundaries fall within the areas of VRA enforcement.

It’s a "badge of shame", it is claimed. No, they really say that.

As reported in the Washington Post, Gregory Coleman, the lawyer who brought the suit which asks the Supreme Court to eviscerate the VRA makes this curious and ironic point:
“The America that has elected Barack Obama as its first African-American president is far different than when [the law] was first enacted in 1965.”
This is absolutely true. But what America did in November 2008 has nothing to do with what Texas did, does it. Texas did not lend its electors to elect Barack Obama, did it? Isn't it ironic that this guy uses the election of Barack Obama as a tool to attack the law that prevents minorities from having their votes not counted? That's real chutzpah.

Most of the other former slave states followed Texas' example. That's how far we have come since 1865.

But that doesn’t keep Coleman for giving credit to his utility district where credit is possibly undeserved. Voter suppression in former slave states, and in some areas in the former Northern aggressor states for that matter, is alive and well.

But now that the Supreme Court has been stacked with Republican justice, the shining star and legacy of the Johnson Administration is about to be rendered ineffectual.

My question is, where are all of those people who used to scream and howl when the Supreme Court executed its unconstitutional legislative powers?

Because that is exactly what is happening here.

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