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Fla Dem

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Boston Area
Home country: USA
Current location: NE Floriduh
Member since: Sun Nov 2, 2003, 11:45 AM
Number of posts: 11,971

Journal Archives

How about electing state and local officers who will reverse all the restrictions on voting

the GOP, ALEC and the Koch brothers have wrought on the voters. Section 4 of voting rights act was gutted in 2013 by the Supreme Court. Since then 1000's of easily accessible voting places were eliminated effecting minority and poorer communities. Ridiculous voter ID laws were put in place targeting again POC, Students, the elderly and poorer citizens. This was a systematic effort to suppress voter turnout and we saw the results of that in this election. A few thousand votes in relatively safe Democratic states determined the election in favor of the Republicans.

Voting Rights Act Section 4 Struck Down By Supreme Court
06/25/2013 10:19 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2013

The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, the provision of the landmark civil rights law that designates which parts of the country must have changes to their voting laws cleared by the federal government or in federal court.

The 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that “things have changed dramatically” in the South in the nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965.

The court’s opinion said it did not strike down the act of Congress “lightly,” and said it “took care to avoid ruling on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act” in a separate case back in 2009. “Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so. Its failure to act leaves us today with no choice but to declare [Section 4] unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.”

The Voting Rights Act has recently been used to block a voter ID law in Texas and delay the implementation of another in South Carolina. Both states are no longer subject to the preclearance requirement because of the court’s ruling on Tuesday.

“Our country has changed, and 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 wrote.

“There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act,” he wrote. “The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process.”

In his bench statement, Roberts said that Congress had extended a 40-year-old coverage formula based on “obsolete statistics and that the coverage formula “violates the constitution.”

Congress, the court ruled, “may draft another formula based on current conditions.” But given the fact that Republicans currently control the House of Representatives, many voting rights advocates consider it unlikely that Congress will act to create a new formula.
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