February 6, 2014

Resurrecting the Old Voting Rights Act

Based on their view of minority voting in the South, Democrats still think it’s 1965.

Last year in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court tossed out the portion of the Voting Rights Act that required certain jurisdictions, mainly in the South, to obtain pre-clearance from the Justice Department before making changes to voting law. Writing for the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared, “There is no denying … that the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions.”

But the same people who time after time demanded re-authorization of the VRA despite clear improvements in the states, with the latest being a 25-year extension passed in 2006, aren’t taking the SCOTUS decision lying down. Joined by Republican James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Democrat Rep. John Conyers of Michigan introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 in the House while Sen. Pat Leahy and two other Democrats introduced a companion Senate bill.

This bill would have the effect of restoring four states (Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) to their former status of requiring pre-clearance. All four currently have Republican governors and their electoral votes have gone Republican for some time, which to the Left is likely proof enough of blatant racism therein.

Moreover, there is a trap in the bill that could subject additional states to the wrath of the VRA. In Section 3 of (S.1945) there is a provision that determines a state has “persistent, extremely low minority turnout” which is written broadly enough that many states could qualify – well, as long as they’re “red” states. The Leahy bill also burdens states and larger municipalities with regulation on polling place resources, ostensibly to prevent those in minority areas from having to wait in long lines to vote – this would be a new section of the existing VRA.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 represents a change in operating procedure from the Left. Normally they rely on the courts to write the laws they desire after legislation they don’t like is passed. In this case they’re trying to circumvent the will of the Supreme Court as they seek to turn back the clock to 1965.

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