Do we need to restore the Voting Rights Act? | The Tylt
Do we need to restore the Voting Rights Act?
Critics say the decision gutted essential voting rights protections, and that Chief Justice John Roberts' claim regarding racial discrimination that "the country has changed" has proven to be completely false. Literally days after the ruling, numerous states changed their voting laws in ways that made it more difficult for poor people, the elderly, the disabled, and people of color to vote.
But many conservatives applauded the decision, arguing Section 5 was an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and states should be allowed to make their own decisions about voter regulations.
Now, this was a good idea in 1965, although even Chief Justice Earl Warren twice called the provision “stringent” in upholding it. At that time, whole swaths of the country were systematically and blatantly denying people the right to vote because of race. But is that still true in 2014?
The answer, of course, is no. The South of 2014 is not the South of 1965. There are no large sections of the country like 1965 Mississippi. I very much doubt, in fact, that there is any single state or local jurisdiction that is like 1965 Mississippi.