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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:08 PM

The Supreme Court’s post-racial fantasy

By Mary C. Curtis
Published: June 27, 2013 at 2:59 pmE-mail the writer

That was then, this is now. The reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s ruling this week striking down key parts of the Voting Rights Act uses considerably more words, but that simple phrase pretty much says it all ...

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., so certain in his logic in writing the majority decision, had to admit that voting discrimination still exists. Yet he wrote, “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.” Roberts must have known that when it comes to asking Congress to act, then is most certainly not now ...

In North Carolina, GOP super-majorities had been trying to reverse voter-friendly rules by, for example, eliminating Sunday voting, same-day registration and the dependent tax-exemption for parents of college students who register where they attend school. There, reaction to the Supreme Court ruling was swift, as well. Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, said in the News & Observer, “(It) should speed things along greatly.” (Though only 40 of the state’s 100 counties are covered by the act’s preclearance regulations, voting and redistricting plans have been subject to federal oversight.) Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has said he would sign voter-ID legislation.

In his reaction, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) asked how much proof the Supreme Court needed. “My colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and I helped build a voluminous legislative record of over 15,000 pages that we believe more than justified reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and extension of the preclearance requirements of Section 5 of the VRA,” he said in a statement. “The activist majority on the Supreme Court has taken the unprecedented step of taking over a uniquely legislative function in disregard of the extensive work of the legislative branch and substituting their own judgment for that of elected representatives” ...


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