You’re reading a lot of claptrap in the breaking news about how SCOTUS found the Voting Rights Act (or key sections of it) unconstitutional.
All they did was order that the DOJ come up with a better, more timely more up-to-date formula on determining which jurisdictions have to do preclearance. They did NOT find the Federal government’s power to require preclearance of some jurisdictions but not all unconstitutional, much less find the whole concept of preclearance unconstitutional, much less find the VRA unconstitutional. IOW, in the heart of the matter, they found for the Feds/VRA.
Left wing crackpots are all jumping off the ledge over this decision. Ordinarily, I would not dissuade them from their paranoia, because when people are making fools of themselves, I tend to get out of their way. My purpose in doing this post is that I don’t want any of our people to get it in their heads that SCOTUS actually did much good for our cause. For you would think they did just from listening to the kook left’s reaction.
If I was a member of the Supreme Court (yeah, I know, from my mouth to Allah’s ears), I would find the geographical dichotomy of preclearance unconstitutional for the uniformity doctrine (i.e. you can’t make espionage a Federal crime in Iowa but not in Oregon), and I would find preclearance itself unconstitutional for the leverage that the Constitution gives states in determining the parameters of elections, with some limits placed by both the original 1787 Constitution and later amendments. I would also find that if states and localities are behaving unconstitutionally in that regard, the better paths to remediation are case-by-case consent decrees. You think the MSNBC crackpots are raging now? They’d go into a total nuclear meltdown after what I would do.
Speaking of what I would do, if I was a politician, I would call for the repeal of the VRA ’65 in toto and replace it with this. The last time I floated “this,” some of you had some bones of contention with this part or that part, but unfortunately, I couldn’t mount a defense of my proposal here because that happened on The Fateful Sunday.
It is now my understanding from reading the majority decision that SCOTUS today invalidated the concept of forcing a jurisdiction to have to do permanent preclearance at the level of statutory law or regulatory code. While preclearance can still be required of certain places, the law or regulatory code which mandates it won’t be able to require it in perpetuity, and presumably, the preclearance requirements will either have sunset dates or non-dated behavioral triggers or benchmarks which would result in the preclearance mandate lifted for a given jurisdiction.
This slightly moves my meter in the happy direction. However, my fundamental opinion that today’s ruling is far more a victory for them than us still stands.
And don’t think that Congress won’t pass a preclearance bill of some sort. Back in 2006, a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican President renewed the existing VRA for another 25 years. The vote was something close to 400-30-ish in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. Do you expect today’s Republican House/Democrat Senate/Democrat President axis to act any differently? Hunter Wallace and Paul Kersey don’t call it BRA for their health.
I re-read John Roberts’s majority opinion. My less than enthusiastic reaction to what SCOTUS did today has not changed.
But there was a bombshell in it that I missed the first time. The Feds/Obama/Holder/DOJ admitted point blank, using the phrase “reverse engineered,” that way back when, back when the VRA was first crafted, that the way certain states and jurisdictions were forced to do preclearance wasn’t based on any objective criteria agreed upon then search for violators, it was a matter of choosing the “offending” jurisdictions first then finding some commonality which would apply to them all but ensnare no other states or jurisdictions. When more states and jurisdictions were later added to the preclearance list in 1970 and 1975, based on data from the 1968 and 1972 Presidential elections, the same thing happened — The Feds decided on who they wanted to pick on, and then worked backward from there to find some criteria which would fit only them and no others. IOW, the whole notion of preclearance and who had to do it was entirely a matter of fulfilling political vendettas. It’s like saying you want to throw John Smith, Jane Jones, Cindy Doe and Jerry Williams in jail and no other people, so you dig through those four individuals’ life histories and present circumstances to find something in common about those four and only those four but nobody else, make whatever that is a crime, then arrest the four of them.
I always suspected that the reason Arizona was put on the preclearance list was that the state had the temerity to produce an opponent to Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Someone at Steve Sailer speculated that with the weakening of the VRA, the race-gerrymandered Congressional districts that the VRA mandates would also go bye-bye, and this would hurt House Republicans. Except that the benefit to both black Democrats and white Republicans that came of the gerrymanders is now so well known that even in the absence of the VRA mandating them, (I actually think that that part of the VRA was either repealed or nullified long ago), that if Republicans plus black Democrats in a given state legislature overpower white liberal Democrats, that it will be full gerrymandering ahead. Missouri was never part of the VRA preclearance, yet such a gerrymandered Congressional map was enacted in 2011 anyway. If Congress passes any kind of fixes to the VRA, I’m sure they will include race-gerrymandering mandates, for it is that which saved House Republicans’ bacon last year.
Angry White Dude notes that it’s full steam ahead for photo voter ID in (until today) preclearance states.