In a surprising 5-4 ruling today, the Unites States Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the most controversial parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Sections 4 and 5, effectively freeing States to enact Voter ID laws, free them from redistricting restraints, and returning the rightful power of States to regulate elections.
The Act was originally enacted to address and redress deep-seated racial discrimination at the polls, like literacy tests and other ingenious machinations designed to prevent Blacks from voting, which has persisted for over 100 year before the Act was enacted in 1965 in South Carolina vs. Katzenbach. The Court left Section 2 intact, which prohibits any “standard practice, or procedure that results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen…to vote on account or race or color ( see 42 U.S.C. 1973a), citing this as “permanent” and was not considered in deliberations, nonetheless struck down as unconstitutional sections 4 & 5.
Section 4 of the Act detailed the “coverage formula” and defined those States that were ‘under the interdict’, so to speak, due to past precedence and tendency of those States and counties to deny voting rights to minorities. Critics of the Act have long argued that the reasons for doing so were merely punitive, and more importantly had no bearing on the voting climate today; The Court agreed. The affected States were ( I gladly use the past-tense ), Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia and scores of counties in other States like Florida and New York.
Section 5 was the clause that came to be known as the ‘pre-clearance clause’, which required that no change in voting procedures in the States detailed in Section 4 can take effect until approved by specified federal authorities in Washington; §1973c(a). This section was the most hotly contested, as it plainly usurps States Rights under the Tenth Amendment which clearly delegates that all powers not specifically granted to the Federal Government are powers granted to the States, including the power to regulate elections. The Court also noted that,
“There is also a fundamental principle of equal sovereignty among the States, which is highly pertinent in assessing disparate treatment of States under sections 4 and 5”.
In layman’s terms, to require that some States submit to this procedure and not others, regardless of any reasons for doing so, clearly violates this precept and creates an unequal standing among the States; in short some are treated differently than others in requiring that some States, mostly Southern States, to petition the government to enact laws that they would otherwise have the right to implement and enact on their own sovereignty, in which other States enjoyed, see Gregory v. Ashcroft 501 U.S. 452-462.
Chief Justice Roberts noted that,
“In 1966, these departures from the Tenth Amendment were justified by the ‘blight of racial discrimination in voting’ that had infected the electoral process in parts of our country for nearly a century…At the time, the coverage formula—the means of linking the exercise of the unprecedented Congressional authority with the problem that warranted it—made sense. The Act was limited to areas where Congress found “evidence of actual voting discrimination,” and the covered jurisdictions shared two characteristics: “the use of tests and devices for voter registration, and a voting rate in the 1964 presidential election at least 12 points below the national average.” Id., at 330. The Court explained that “[t]ests and devices are relevant to voting discrimination because of their long history as a tool for perpetrating the evil; a low voting rate is pertinent for the obvious reason that widespread disenfranchisement must inevitably affect the number of actual voters.” Ibid. The Court therefore concluded that “the coverage formula [was] rational in both practice and theory.” Ibid. Pp. 12–13.
Yet, 50 years later, the voting climate has changed dramatically, and the disparity in actual voters and registered voters of both races in the affected States and the nation at large has largely disappeared and is no longer relevant. Roberts noted that in 2009 when it heard a similar challenge to the Act that the “coverage formula raise[d] serious constitutional questions” even then. Roberts also noted that when Congress renewed the Act in 2006 it erred by relying on data from the 1975 reauthorization to decide which States and localities would still be covered, yet, as Roberts noted, this decision was erroneous as it is “based on 40-year-old facts [data] having no logical relationship to the present day climate…[and] “Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions,” he wrote. “It cannot simply rely on the past.”
It should be noted that the decision today did not specifically strike down section 5, but the court noted that section 5 is subordinate to section 4, and without section 4, section 5 is effectively moot.
It is also very doubtful, as the decision states, and analysts agree, that the court’s conservative majority would uphold Section 5 if the question returned to the court in the improbable event that Congress legislated a new coverage formula. In a concurrence, Justice Thomas called for striking down Section 5 immediately, stating that the majority opinion had provided the reasons and had merely left “the inevitable conclusion unstated.”
Several States in the past few year have attempted to enact Voter ID laws and other anti-fraud measures to ensure that dead people, or those who had appropriated the deceased name at polls, could not vote; Florida had attempted to purge its voter rolls through reviews and correspondence to those in question, which brought a flurry of challenges from the abominable ALCU dogs and other factions of the Left intent on allowing the Federal Government to meddle in States affairs. Florida defied the federal courts and proceeded with its voter roll purge anyway.
In May of last year, in yet another whining session about voter ID documentation, South Carolina had recently come under fire, and injunction, for requiring that voters show ID to prove who they are. Similar laws had been passed and upheld on appeal in Georgia ( which was given the green light by the DOJ ), and in Indiana whose similar law was challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, where the challenge was struck down and the Indiana Law upheld. The Justice Department in December rejected South Carolina’s law under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandates the federal government approve any changes to voting laws in a handful of states that have a history of voter suppression and racial discrimination. The last time the DOJ blocked such a law was in 1994, after Louisiana passed a law that required voters to present a photo ID at the polls. The DOJ said the S.C. law failed to meet the requirements of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices that prevent blacks from voting. The Voting Rights Act also requires the Justice Department to approve changes to South Carolina’s election laws because of the state’s past failure to protect the voting rights of blacks.
What past? 50 years ago? 100? How far back do we go in determining a ‘past history of…’ anything? Are S.C., Louisiana, and like States to be punished and treated differently than other States for discriminations that took place decades, even a century ago? Not anymore!
Attorney General Alan Wilson filed suit in Federal Court to block the DOJ’s fallacious arguments. Wilson said, “The changes have neither the purpose nor will they have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority.”
And why would it? This law is not aimed at nor contains language that would indicate that it is aimed at any group or race, rather it is quite clear that it applied to everyone. So how is this discriminatory? Many racist Blacks, of the sort you find scumming up the ACLU, ardently maintain that this will disenfranchise minority voters. But how? Well, they cite money as the primary reason, a photo ID costs money, and poor Blacks don’t have any money ( as if poor Whites do ).
Fortunately, South Carolina, like Georgia, offers FREE State ID cards (if you are between 5 and 16 it costs $5 ). But how would they get there to get the cards? Well, call me silly, but I’m thinking that they can get there the same way they would get to the polls ( I get crazy ideas like that, sorry ). And what about poor white people? How can this be discriminatory to blacks if it affects Whites, Latinos, Asians, and Mongolians alike?
It seems as if the opponents to people proving who they say they are have neglected their elementary school math ( if indeed they were even ever in school ). Let’s look:
Total population of the country is 311,591,917 as of the 2011 US Census figures. Blacks comprise 12.4% of the population ( US Census Bureau ) and whites about 74%. Blacks living below the poverty line is 24.7%. Caucasians living below the poverty line are at 8.6%. Total population of Blacks is 38,637,397 and the percentage living below poverty is 24.7%, or 9,543,437 people. Total population of Whites is 230,578,018. 8.6% live at or below the poverty line, which is 19,829,709.
Isn’t math great? It discloses so many lies. So if South Carolina’s voter laws discriminate against blacks because the poor blacks won’t be able to vote ( a logical fallacy, and simply untrue ), then it certainly will disenfranchise the poor white people, and a whole lot more of them than Blacks. 20 MILLION Whites will be adversely affected ( in theory ), and only 10 million blacks will be. So if 20m whites and 9.5m blacks are affected by such laws, how does the claim arise that it is discriminatory against blacks? Obviously, it would affect twice as many whites as blacks. This is EXACTLY why sections 4 and 5 of the V.R.A were struck down today.
Yet one might ask, exactly HOW would this prevent poor blacks from voting anyway? Every State I have checked that has similar laws (about 30) issues FREE State ID’s. So why should having an ID be a problem, unless you’re trying to hide from something, or someone? Me thinks all the posturing and bellyaching about showing a photo ID (which is a law anyway in most States that you have one) is a smoke screen, and another excuse for the ACLU to launch into yet another tirade about how blacks are held down and it is the white man’s fault. In fact, there is currently a racist article on their site about how Blacks still are not realizing the American Dream, and of course it’s the white man’s fault.
But, not to be deterred by the facts, the ACLU had vowed to fight S. Carolina’s voting laws, to protect the poor black who is being victimized by the mean racist white people. THAT sounds pretty racist in and of itself.
But as of today, this bellyaching by the ACLU is done with. Roberts, in stating that the reasons for the V.R.A of 1965 simply do not apply today simply cannot be denied. For example, in the 2004 election, the last before the law was reauthorized; the black registration rate in Mississippi was 76% a ten-fold increase from 1965 when it stood at 6.55 and almost four percentage points higher than the white rate in 2004. As regards to the 2012 Presidential election, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “African-American voter turnout exceeded white voter turnout in five of the six states originally covered by Section 5..”.
I am sure the race-baiters and their dogs, like Sharpton and Jackson, will be howling to the moon at today’s ruling; let them howl. Texas immediately announced it will resume its Voter ID laws, as will South Carolina; most of the affected States are expected to follow suit, and enact laws to prevent voter fraud, like in the 2012 Presidential Elections. Had this case come before the Court before that election, it is doubtful that Obamler would have been re-elected, as anyone without a drug-addled brain can clearly see that it was voter fraud that put him there.
Read the entire ruling here.
Let us all give thanks today for this ruling, and praise Almighty God for this deliverance.