The Supreme Court correctly ruled to give back Constitutional sovereignty, when it comes to voting rights, to the states. Some states and areas of other states identified as having a history of discrimination, will no longer be required to submit changes in election practices to the Justice Department for approval. They are: Alaska, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and select counties and townships in California, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina. As The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Supreme Court nullified a core provision of the Voting Rights Act in an ideologically divided ruling that eroded a landmark of the civil-rights era and threw the issue into the lap of a gridlocked Congress.
In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said Jim-Crow era discrimination no longer justified requiring a group of mostly Southern states to seek Washington’s approval before changing election practices. Joined by the court’s other conservatives, he said the court had to act to uphold states’ sovereignty, sparking a dissent from liberals who said the ruling would undermine progress made since the law was passed in 1965 to ensure fair treatment at the polls.
Tuesday’s ruling substantially eases the path for lawmakers in states that had been under federal supervision, which now can immediately implement changes in their election procedures without first obtaining clearance from the Justice Department. Nine states and portions of six others, primarily in the South and largely now under Republican control, are affected. Some, such as Texas, have clashed with the Justice Department over measures ranging from legislative redistricting to voter-identification laws.
The Journal’s “Review and Outlook” on President Obama’s reaction:
President Obama was especially disappointing, showing himself once again to be a divider, not a uniter. He declared in a rare public comment on the High Court that the decision “upsets decades of well-established practices” to keep voting fair in areas where “voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.” So the country that has twice elected an African-American to the highest political office must in his telling be forever locked into a “Mad Men” time warp.
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