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2.7.13

A Return To Jim Crow?






Last week was a historic week at The Supreme Court of the United States. The justices handed down major rulings on gay rights and on The voting rights Act of 1965. signaling the start of the end of one form institutional racism and the possible re-birth of another.  Since Voting Rights Act got swept under the rug, lets take a look at it and possible issues caused by the High Court's ruling.

The Voting Rights Act was first In acted in 1965 during African American fight for equal rights. This law was put in place to stop things like charging poll taxes and other voter intimidation of Black Americans. The law pertained to states that had a past history of voter discrimination. 

The Voting rights Act required preclearance from the Department of Justice before changing voting rules or redrawing congressional districts. The states that were required preclearance were determined by a formula set forth in Section 4 of the law, the section that was struck down. Most of these states were states in the south, but not only southern states were affected. 9 states along with 12 cities and 57 counties across the nation were subjected to this extra scrutiny as well. 

The Supreme Court did not on its face kill this key piece of civil rights law. Instead they threw it back to the U.S. Congress to create a new formula. Many see this as simply as the death of this part of the law. This feeling is due to the fact of the makeup and lack of work being done by The U.S. House.

Also, Chief Justice John Roberts claimed that since black voters were gaining in numbers this formula was no longer applicable. So now it is up to congress to replace it.

“Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions,” Roberts said from the bench.

This idea that this formula is no longer needed is simply wrong. The fact is the only reason black voters in southern states have increased is due to these laws being on the books. 

"The Voting Rights Act is invoked often. It was used to block more than 1,000 proposed changes to voting laws between 1982 and 2006, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy institute at New York University." -NBC NEWS

This would be exactly like looking at your running car and saying well it works so I'll remove the alternator or some other vital part.

By removing this and a guaranteed no action by congress, this very well could create a return of Jim Crow laws if the past. This is indeed a sad ruling for this nation.

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