Revisiting the Voting Rights Act

Posted on July 10, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

By James Scott

voting rights actHere we go again. The Supreme Court issues a controversial decision, but it’s Congress that is going to have clean up the mess.

This time we’re talking about the court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1964. The court, essentially, said there’s not that much voter discrimination any more, so the federal government no longer needs to oversee state voting laws.

Like many of its decisions, the Supreme Court didn’t so much settle the dispute as hand the ball over to Congress to decide what to do next.

Congressional leaders are now in the position of deciding if they want to simply accept the high court’s opinion, or if they want to try to rewrite the law in a way that could pass constitutional muster.

Democrats, who have traditionally benefitted from minority votes, are eager to move forward with new language and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) has expressed concern about the ruling and has scheduled hearings to seek a fix.

On the GOP controlled House side House side, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has also scheduled hearings, but he sounded a bit more non-commital: “We will look at what the Supreme Court was talking about in terms of old data. We’ll look at what new data is available and we will make sure that people’s freedom to vote in elections in this country is protected,” he said on CNN.

Still, Republicans may want to help rewrite the law, as the party has recognized that it can no longer rely so heavily on older, white voters and must make inroads among minorities.”

The part of the law struck down by the court required nine states with histories of discriminatory voting practices to gain Justice Department approval of changes to voting laws. The covered states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

In some of these states lawmakers are already moving to enact new voters restrictions. In Texas, for example, a voter id law that had been blocked by the Justice Department went into effect immediately. Other restrictions, like prohibitions on early voting, also are back on the table.

In the most recent ABC/Washington Post poll, just one-third of respondents said they backed the court’s decision, while 51 percent disagreed. And while minority members voiced the loudest disagreement, whites disapproved of the court’s ruling 48 to 33 percent.

The Congress should listen to public opinion and find a constitutional way around the court’s ruling to protect the rights of all voters.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at


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3 Responses to “Revisiting the Voting Rights Act”

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The Voting Act was a landmark of an era, it made possible minority group use of the Democratic process to address their basic concerns/needs. This is the apparent animus of the plaintiffs in the instant case and the Republican party in States and the National level to diminish the impact of minority voting. The tensions in which the Voting Rights Act was enacted persist to this day. The divide over the role of voting in a Democracy. It is viewed as a threat by Conservatives and as an obstacle to power by most Republicans.

Opposition to minority voting is anathema-tic to Democracy. It is the de-evolution of the path the Nation has traveled since its inception. This opposition can be taken as a sign of old age in the American Democracy or it can perhaps be more accurately viewed as a sea change: the nation’s minorities soon will be its majority.
The current Republican policies of enforced national stagnation and obstruction of the national economy will not be an easy sell to the majority-minorites; their aspirations will be keyed to expanding opportunities. Their aspirations will be in opposition to vulture economics, the stilted and internecine derivatives business (which has drained productive capital from the economy). Majority/minority policy will be to stimulate job growth INSIDE the US rather than exporting our wealth and wealth creation capacity.
The Voting Right Act Decision, like Citizens United have formed a fulcrum of power. It is a critical time for the old line that has pushed the society to some remarkable limits of stress since the Obama election. This group has pushed Democracy to a point of crass manipulation: corporations as people, zero corporate taxation, indifference to joblessness and economic suffering, and austerity to near starvation for millions.
It is a very interesting time in America remarkable for the brazen tenacity of moneyed interests to de-volve the society, to in effect- nullify Democracy. Remarkable for an historic effort to disestablish the vote as the method of popular control of government. hdm

The misnamed “Voting Rights Act” was really a continuation of Reconstruction era punishment of the South.
Where there were actual impediments to minority voting – and there were things like literacy tests – these were corrected
almost fifty years ago. While nobody wants ANYONE of any party, gender, or color, to be denied the right to vote; that has not been the real issue for forty years.

Laws designed to stop racial discrimination that ended forty years ago have been used to protect, not minority voting,
but Democrat election fraud. Wanting to stop anyone not properly registered and identified from casting a fraudulent vote IS NOT racial discrimination.

Here is South Carolina, the far left wants to be disingenuous and claim our new voter ID law keeps minorities from voting.
They said getting a FREE state ID was a hardship on voters who could not drive to the DMV office. Our Governor, Nikki Haley
has said ANYONE in South Carolina who has a problem getting to the DMV can call her office and she will arrange transportation. Out of seven million people who live here, exactly twenty-one people have called Nikki’s office. In all 21 cases, she sent a state trooper to chauffer them to the DMV at no cost!

No one in the South or the Republican Party wants any qualified American denied the right to vote. Any assertion we do is offensive. However, we are also very tired of laws designed to end racial discrimination being used to cover flagrant voter fraud. If the d@mned Voting Right Act is such a good thing, then apply it equally to all 50 states!

Great job decribeing your answeres

Love the good explanation and punctuation

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