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Politics » Democracy Under Attack; Another State Dismantling Voting Rights Act of 1965

Democracy Under Attack; Another State Dismantling Voting Rights Act of 1965

Pres. Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King after signing the Voter Rights Act of 1965Perhaps we now know why the earth rumbled beneath the Eastern Seaboard then sustained the wrath of Hurricane Irene as she barreled ashore — in the same area and in the same week. The spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., who was immortalized with a memorial on the National Mall, may have been aroused to anger as yet another state, this one Arizona, is tampering with the Voting Rights Act, one of the measures for which he and others selflessly sacrificed their lives.

Republican attorney general Tom Horne, obviously executing the whims of powerful GOP operatives, has decided to challenge Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a measure that was implemented specifically to protect the rights of the minority electorate. This is a bold and obvious move to further bolster conservatives’ obsession with making President Obama a one-term president.

The same body of individuals has doubtlessly ordered a systematic challenge to this law across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court mysteriously ruled that voting districts could be exempt from the federal law if they can show they’re no longer engaged in race discrimination.

You’re kidding, right? With a Grand Canyon-sized loophole blasted open by the high court, ruthless cultural hackers got busy infecting the Voting Rights Act that still has the blood dripping from the countless blacks who endured domestic terrorism to get this measure passed. No less than 17 districts across the country have already been allowed to bail out of the provision.

But Arizona, the state that also attacked immigration laws designed to culturally cleanse themselves of their Mexican “interlopers.”

Horne said that the portion of the law requiring the state to get prior approval from the Justice Department for any changes exceeds congressional authority and is unconstitutional.

“The portions of the Act requiring pre-clearance of all voting changes are either archaic, not based in fact, or subject to completely subjective enforcement based on the whim of federal authorities,” Horne said in a statement.

Horne then said the Justice Department issues “random enforcement based on the whim” of federal authorities. Continuing, Horned added that “Arizona has been subjected to enforcement actions for problems that were either corrected nearly 40 years ago and have not been repeated, or penalized for alleged violations that have no basis in the Constitution … that needs to stop.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been pleading with progressives and blacks to understand what has been quietly transpiring, which includes efforts to redistrict congressional areas led by blacks in order to eliminate their representation.

With states like Arizona taking the “victim” stance and firing up tea party zealots, it’s time for beneficiaries of the Voting Rights Act to stand and protect this most fundamental aspect of democracy.

terry shropshire

1 Comment

  1. Kurt Morgan on August 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Horne’s suggestion that Section 5 of the VRA violates the restraints of the federal government in the Constitution is reasonable.  I would challenge you to show where in the Constitution such powers are granted to the Congress or President.  You won’t find it.  Secondly,  within the wording of the VRA law, if a covered jurisdiction can demonstrate nondiscriminatory behavior during the 10 years prior to filing and while the action is pending and that it has taken affirmative steps to improve minority voting opportunities, that jurisdiction need not be subject to DOJ oversight.  That’s simply what the law says so why you call the Supreme Court ruling “mysterious” I don’t know.  They simply followed the law as written in 1964.  And if a ‘covered’ jurisdiction was able to prove that, why would you object?  They’ve obviously shown they have no rules in place that are discriminatory…or they wouldn’t have been given leave to bail out.  If you have evidence to the contrary, you didn’t present it in the article.  Lastly, do you realize that section 5 was supposed to be temporary?  It’s been renewed multiple times since 1964.  Obviously, the framers of that law saw it being needed less in the future, which experience bears out:  the percentage of DOJ objections to submitted changes in voting requirements has declined throughout the 40-year period of the Act: from 5.5 percent in the first period to 1.2 percent in the second, and to 0.6 percent in the third. Over the last 10 years, the overall objection rate was so low as to be practically negligible, at less than 0.1 percent.  What exactly is your complaint here?