Supreme Court

Supreme Court Invalidates Section 4 of Voting Rights Act


Credit: Library of Congress

Writing at the blog of the Cato Institute, Ilya Shapiro calls today's ruling by the Supreme Court against Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act a victory for federalism. He writes:

In striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court restored a measure of constitutional order to America. Based on 40-year-old data showing racial disparities in voting that no longer exist, this provision subjected a now-random assortment of states and localities to onerous burdens and unusual federal oversight. Recognizing that the nation has changed, the Court aptly ended the extraordinary intrusion in state sovereignty that can no longer be justified by the facts on the ground.

Read the rest here.

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  2. Awesome – they got one right! Yay!

    /small victories

    1. Again. Should we be happy that they (kind of) got this one right? Or should we be sad that they even had to consider it?

      I say “kind of” because (as I interpret it) they only shot down the arbitrary assignments of states and localities for extra scrutiny. Now everyone will get the extra scrutiny, I assume.

      1. Now everyone will get the extra scrutiny, I assume.

        I doubt it. The people crying about this would never subject themselves to the same rules they are trying to force on others. That just isn’t how they operate.

        1. Okay. Another way to say it is that the Justice Dept. can choose to scrutinize whoever they want so long as they appear to be doing it “fairly”. I just don’t believe this admin will interpret this ruling as “thou shalt not scrutinize any voting law changes until Congress passes a new law on the issue”.

          1. I just don’t believe this admin will interpret this ruling as “thou shalt not scrutinize any voting law changes until Congress passes a new law on the issue”.

            That’s actually exactly what the USSC said.

            1. Okay. If that’s the case then great. Fears allayed for now.

      2. Some have proposed that US attorneys could be placed in every jurisdiction to oversee changed in election law, removing the problem of discriminating against certain districts. But they wouldn’t have the authority to preemptively reject a change in election law (preclearance), they could only sue after the fact. Which is kind of a problem considering we’d be stuck with the results of the election anyway.

        1. But not much of a problem as racial discrimination in voting laws really isn’t much of an issue now. Certainly no more of a problem than voter fraud or gerrymandering.

    for your BoingBoing silliness:

    Congress isn’t going to do anything, that much is clear, and this court decision does, effectively, gut the Voting Rights Act. This was a very surgical decision. It’s like yanking the battery out of car. You didn’t wreck the car?it still looks nice?but it’s not going to work anymore.

    This will have the essential effect of being the Citizens United decision for civil rights.

    1. and

      Social conservatives created the original Jim Crow laws, and people who embraced this self-serving ideology of intolerance switched political parties as a RESULT of the Civil RIghts and Voting Acts legislation.

      Ever since Obama was elected POTUS in 2008, Republican legislators have not even attempted to hide their contempt for the democratic process. In true Machiavellian fashion, they have displayed a willingness to take an ideological dump on the fundamental principles of our democracy in order to further their political agenda.

      1. Ever since Obama was elected POTUS in 2008, Republican legislators have not even attempted to hide their contempt for the democratic process.

        Wat? Apparently, complying with the mandate in the Constitution to take a census every decade and for states to reapportion their representation based on that census is now contempt for the democratic process.

        Goddammit, LH, now I’m gonna get angry.

        BRETT SMASH!!

    2. and

      It’s possible that handing it back to Congress is actually a net win for the Good Guys? Congress will never be able to put a coherent change in place until the GOP is well and truly run out of town. Does this mean that, until that happens, the current standards for what states need approval will stay in place, or is it that there are no standards and I should just go shopping for a white hood now so I can be allowed to vote next November?

      1. Forget it, Lord, its boingboing.

        1. I’m just enjoying the salty tears. Small victories are still enjoyable.

      2. Yes, literally the only thing holding back the KKK from taking over the South and disenfranchising black voters is section 4 of the VRA.

        These people act like the Supreme Court just made voter discrimination legal.

        1. Which they didn’t, they just allowed for all future elections (until Congress acts) to be held under potentially discriminatory conditions, with remedies available only after the elections take place. Compounding this probability is the removal of the strong deterrent effect of section 5.

          1. So Congress better get cracked and come up with a constitutional means of overseeing election laws nationwide.

            1. That was supposed to be “get crackin”, but I like it this way better.

          2. You mean this could lead to the Black Panthers intimidating voters in some polling places? Wait, that already happens.

      3. Yeah, the Klan is really popular in mainstream America today.

        What the fuck is wrong with people? DO they really think that the only reason the country isn’t completely overtly racist anymore is a few laws?

    3. the Citizens United decision for civil rights

      What the hell is that supposed to mean? And why the hell don’t they think Citizens United was about civil rights?


      2. Because they don’t think? At all? Marching orders are orders, nicole.

      3. “Citizens United” = “the most horrible thing evar”


    4. I don’t buy it. Can’t the Justice Dept. still apply the rest of the Voting Rights Act, so long as they do so equally across all states and localities? Aren’t all areas now subject to scrutiny when they want to change their voting laws?

    5. This will have the essential effect of being the Citizens United decision for civil rights.

      Sounds good to me.

  4. Based on 40-year-old data showing racial disparities in voting that no longer exist,

    Regardless, I predict great rending of garments and outcries against the racist Supreme Court. Because, you know, good news is never cause for celebration and to begin the deconstruction of the ramparts.

    1. Too late for predictions, JW. I can see you’re not on Twitter.

        1. My feed is strangely quiet and it’s full of DC lefties.

          1. I’m seeing the same, JW. My Facebook is quiet. Too quiet. I’m starting to get scared.

            1. No one has a plausible spin for polishing the turd yet. Give them until the 4pm deadline for nightly news.

            2. We should probably have some kind of bird call we can make, to warn others of the impending, massed attack.

                1. Was that the signal? I didn’t hear anything.

          2. Really? Mine started right away with stuff like “If only black and brown people had as many rights as corporations.” It gives them something to talk about, since they’ve completely clammed up about Barack H. Ex-Messiah.

  5. Conspiracy theory time: would you say that Roberts did okay on allowing a “penaltax” that will never actually be constitutional in practice for all of the small-ball victories of this session?

    1. The interesting thing about the penaltax is that it can never become large enough to be “burdensome.” The second the penalty becomes significant is the second it becomes unconstitutional.

      1. Where is the provision in the constitution prohibiting “burdensome” taxes?

    2. Forever and always a resounding NO.

    3. Why not both?

      This isnt a good vs perfect kind of thing. This vote didnt change the other votes at all.

  6. Curse you, Koch brotherz!

    1. Sorry. Of course I meant “KKKoch Brotherz”!

  7. OT: Special needs child raped in LAUSD school by another student. In my mind, this is exactly what the teacher’s union’s iron grip has wrought.

    Julian’s mother said she filed a complaint some two months ago because she feared that other students were bullying Julian during gym class. She says school officials did nothing in response.

    Both parents now argue that school officials should face criminal charges for criminal child endangerment charges, according to KTLA.

    Claypool characterized the alleged incident as part of a broad failure on the part of the embattled school district to train staff and safeguard students. He argued that someone should have been monitoring the unknown assailant.

    1. Child endangerment charges only apply to parents, not disinterested public servants who were trying their best.

      1. in loco parentis

        Oh wait that only applies when they want it to.

    2. “Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy”


      1. I checked twice to make sure it wasn’t The Onion.

      2. That DOES seem like a good place to practice getting fucked.

        1. It also seems like a good place to practice being retarded. ProL probably went there.

          1. This is inaccurate. I attended the William Shatner Prime Directive Studies Institute.

            1. …and every week you were violated.

              1. coffee, i’d like to introduce you to keyboard.

      3. I thought you made that up. Jesus christ.

      4. Global Preparation Academy

        is that what they’re calling “bending over and taking it” these days?

      5. “Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy”

        The jokes practically write themselves.

        1. I mean, seriously? How can it be I never heard of this before?

        2. for the lulz:

          the school song:
          Barack Obama Global
          Preparation Academy
          Preparing us for the future
          Our alma mater you’ll always be
          For your dedication
          To our education
          We’ll always have and loyalty
          For Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy (2x)

          Soaring like an eagle
          Above our beloved academy
          Developing in our character
          And in our integrity
          If we believe it
          We can achieve it
          Our dreams become reality (reality)
          Thanks to Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy
          Thanks to Barack Obama
          Global Preparation
          Barack Obama
          Global Preparation
          Barack Obama
          Global Preparation

          1. I keep reading that as Global Penetration.

            1. That’s it – you’ve got it

      6. Every student gets a Nobel Prize.

      7. There ought to be a law against naming anything public after a politician in office, or even a living politician.

        1. I second that. And while we are at it, get all of the fucking presidents off of money. We used to have coins with allegorical figures of liberty and stuff like that on them.

  8. It’s rich to see a bunch of bigots complain that SCOTUS not share their prejudiced assumption of prejudice on the part of these jurisdictions.

    “What do you mean, the South isn’t RAYCESS! EVERYBODY *KNOWS* the South is RAYCESS!”

    They really do think that the Old South is going to immediately repeal 50 years of local election laws and get right back to poll taxin’.

    1. Odd, all the racists I know are northern liberals. Since we legislate by anecdote in this country, we must now ban northern liberals due to their racism.

      1. Some of the states under Section 4 requirements:
        New Mexico

        1. And?

          The map was more convincing, since it didn’t leave out most of the states to which the law applies.

          Oh wait, the full data set doesn’t support your stance, so it must be truncated to fit the pre-determined outcome.

        2. And New Hampshire until this spring, which I’ve never been able to figure out. Something about a literacy test, I think. How many black people were even in NH 40 years ago?

    2. Which is precisely why Rand Paul is so dangerous. First day as President, he’ll repeal Title II of the 1964 CRA, and no black person will be served anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line.


    Enjoy Melissa Harris Perry’s yummy tears.

    1. Delicious!!!

    2. Nope. My greatest bliss is my ignorance of their outrage.

      Life’s too short to waste on cultural retards.

      1. I think I was happier when I had no idea that Melissa Harris Perry existed.

    3. Chris Hayes is ‘physically enraged’ at the decision.

      I would give anything to see what Chris Hayes looks like when he’s physically enraged. Does he wear special red-framed glasses and make little, precious angry fists in order to signal his rage?

      1. I saw that picture and caption on John’s link and my first thought was “LOL Maddow is ‘physically enraged’ also.”

      2. Response from @Beer__Wolf:

        “I’m so angry I could put on John Tesh and anger-vacuum.”

  10. Is this a good summary of what happened?

    All state legislative bodies are now equally free to gerrymander, unlike before where it was a little bit harder for icky red states to gerrymander?

    1. Yup

      1. The Icky red states that instituted Jim Crow…that is.

        1. The Icky red states that instituted Jim Crow 70 years ago and have no intention of going back.

          I fixed it for you to make it more honest.

        2. Re: Alice Bowie,

          The Icky red states that instituted Jim Crow…that is.

          Wasn’t JIm Crow instituted in predominantly Democratic states? I mean, it’s not like Sen. Robert Byrd was a freak of nature or something…

        3. You do realize they didn’t become red states until after Jim Crow was struck down? And don’t kid yourself, while it was the worst in the South, don’t think for a minute that many Northern and “blue” states didn’t have segregation to some extent. Interracial marriage was illegal in California until the 1940s.

    2. Actually, the Voting Rights Act forced racial gerrymandering in some cases.

  11. It takes them all morning to mention the decision, and when they do it’s just a link to another organization’s content? You guys are as bad as Hitler or something.

  12. I talked to a white Texan today. He told me that the only thing stopping him from lynching all the Negroes is section IV of the VRA.

    What hast though wrought, Scotus?

    1. Just imagine what he’d do to his employees if they ever do away with a minimum wage!

    2. These are troubling times in the Obamadom!

      1. And I’m bangin’ Flo. YEAH, I SAID IT.

  13. Minnesota state Representative Ryan Winkler calls Thomas an “Uncle Tom” after the SCOTUS decision on the VRA, later deletes tweet alleging he did not know that calling a Supreme Court judge, who is black, an ‘Uncle Tom’, sounds offensive. Also, learns that Twitchy is forever.

    “VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas. Marriage decisionmay blur Court’s backsliding.”

    By the way, the guy kept digging his hole even deeper as time went by. Democrats may fancy themselves the smartest people on the face of the ‘Oith’, but seem not to be smart enough to shut the fuck up.

    1. He should check his fucking privilege.

  14. Didn’t realize this was a decision universally welcomed by libertarianism. Is federalism a fundamental libertarian principle? I’d ask about the unhindered right to vote, but I think I know where you stand on democracy.

    1. What is democracy?

      I believe its got something to do with young men killing each other.

      When it comes my turn would you want me to go?

      For democracy son. Any man would give his only begotten son for democracy.

    2. I struggle to understand how getting the federal government out of the voting process is a breach of federalism.

      There are really only two reasons I can think of that you would be that dumb.

      First, you think federalism means more federal government. However i’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.

      Second, you think that somehow, the federal government’s meddling has a liberating effect on the state and local governments. However, I don’t think that I could buy enough meth to make that make sense.

      That leaves me with the third option, you’re racist.

    3. Re: Tony,

      I’d ask about the unhindered right to vote, but I think I know where you stand on democracy.

      Who told you that voting is a right?

  15. Can’t wait until Winkler is skewered by the media for his racist remarks…..

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