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Thursday, July 11, 2013

The 1965 Voting Rights Act decision

The Supreme Court has introduced a bit of rationality into one part of of legal system that is being widely distorted. The following is from an article in the NY Times by Adam Liptak.

The short version goes like this:  The 1965 voting rights act required certain states with a history of discrimination in voting to obtain the permission of the Attorney General of the US before making any changes in their voting laws.  Although this was a significant extension of the Federal power into State jurisdiction, it was clearly justified by the previous actions of those states and areas.  For example, at the time  black voter registration in Mississippi was at 6.4 percent.

The law was redone several times, notably in 1982 for 25 years with the determination of which areas were to be covered based on data from 1975.  In 2006 the law was redone again, for 25 years again, and with the determination of which areas were to be covered based on data from 1975 again.  The court majority decided (5-4) that you could not make so momentous a decision based on 40 year old data.

It should be noted that Chief Justice Roberts paid homage to the original law, those who had fought the civil rights battles of the sixties, and he wrote of the changes that had come about.  For example, in 2004 black voter registration in Mississippi was at 76 percent.

He pointed out that the court was not saying that Congress cannot do what they wanted to do, only that they must use more current data to do it.

If you believed some of the commentary you would conclude that the court had restored Jim Crow.

In the article Who is Racist? Thomas Sowell wrote the following:
"The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country."

1 comment:

  1. Well stated!

    Nice article by Mr. Sowell with some very telling statistics on who our fellow Americans think are racists.

    There is one statistic that I would like to see that, so far, I have not. That is what percentage of conservatives think liberals are racists based on deed (not creed) and vice versa. Perhaps someone on this blog has seen these stats.