June 25, 2013

Just an Airy Thought in the Maelstrom...

Hatched by Dafydd

Today, the Supremes announced their decision in Shelby County v. Holder, largely striking down a significant portion of the 1960s-era Voting Rights Act. I defer to a lawyer to supply specificity:

The Court approved the concept of pre-clearance that is contained in Section 5, but of course there won’t be any pre-clearance until Congress writes new, defensible criteria to replace those the Court struck down–something that I assume will never happen. So the principal provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which should have been allowed to expire long ago–and would have, if that were politically possible–are finally gone.

I actually hope the GOP does enthusiastically join Democrats in a bipartisan voting-rights romp, to come up with a new formula for when preclearance should be invoked; but only on condition that:

  • The new formula does not rely upon an ancient history of racism but upon current conditions;
  • It takes the requirement of "strict scrutiny" seriously;
  • And most urgently, Republicans should utterly reject any deal that does not include a broad, sweeping, and strictly enforced, nationwide voter-ID law to prevent voter fraud -- a far more prevalent violation of Americans' right to "free and fair elections" than the lingering echoes of long-dead (Democratic) racists.

Ensuring that nobody eligible to vote is denied that right because of his race; in exchange for preventing those ineligible to vote from voting, and also preventing anyone from voting more than once in the same election; sounds wonderful! Yet I strongly suspect that Democrats would flee en masse from any such bargain: They would rather see people wrongly denied voting rights than have their own voter-fraud campaign strategy terminated!

The bipartisan bill would fail, not because of Republicans but because of Democrats. So why not let the whole world know who the real voting-right villains are?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 25, 2013, at the time of 3:35 PM


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