After today’s ruling at the Supreme Court on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, certain states will no longer be required to seek pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before they implement sweeping legislation which only has one purpose — to suppress voters. Or, more specifically, suppress minority voters.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act establishes pre-clearance itself, but Section 4 establishes which states are covered, and it has been invalidated.
In real terms this means that individual laws in the affected areas will have to be challenged on the basis that they are racially discriminatory after they’ve already been passed. Currently, the Department of Justice conducts its own assessment of each law before it can be passed.
Today’s ruling primarily affects, but is not limited to, the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. It will also affect a number of counties and townships outside of those states, a list of which you can find here.
The Supreme Court majority ruling called on Congress to amend the law after they struck down Section 4, but let’s be real — today’s House of Representative, which is under the guiding hand of John Boehner and Eric Cantor and populated by the Crazy Caucus, is not going to amend the law to create a new list of states that should be affected. They won’t even pass a farm bill that isn’t revolting.
And the majority ruling already is bearing fruit. Here’s immediate reaction from the Attorney General of Texas.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 25, 2013
Between now and 2016, it will be open season on voting rights. And with fears of being overwhelmed by immigrants and changing demographics running high, expect former Confederate states to come down hard while they’re no longer required to seek approval from the Department of Justice.
The NY Times has more.