Good News: Discrimination Has Disappeared

Or so they tell me.

I thought I may get through Thursday without saying something about white intellectuals dismissing racism as a myth or phantom, but the Heritage Foundation is here to set us straight.

A witness at a House Republican hearing Thursday on the Voting Rights Act said the legislation remains “a powerful statute,” defending the Supreme Court ruling last month that overturned a key provision of the legislation and arguing that the “the systematic, widespread discrimination against blacks has long since disappeared.” [...]

“[That section] was an unprecedented, extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “No other federal law presumes that states cannot govern themselves as their legislatures decide and must have the federal government’s consent before they act.”

If systematic discrimination against blacks has disappeared, why would laws aimed at preventing systematic discrimination be considered an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty? Where’s the intrusion? What is the Voting Rights Act preventing states from doing?

If systematic discrimination is a thing of the past, why were some states so eager to dismiss section 4 of the Voting Rights Act?

If systematic discrimination is a thing of the past, why did many of the states named in section 4 begin implementing voter ID laws within 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling?

The idea that we shouldn’t ensure that every citizen has a right to vote because it would infringe on state sovereignty is even more egregious than Rand Paul’s notion that integrated lunch counters represent an overreach on the part of the federal government.

In either case, you’re arguing that the state should be allowed to deny its residents basic rights. You may not be directly arguing that the state should be allowed to do so based on skin color but, with a wink and a nod, that’s what it leads to.

Confidence that the House of Representatives will reauthorize section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is nill.

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  • nathkatun7

    “In either case, you’re arguing that the state should be allowed to deny its residents basic rights. You may not be directly arguing that the state should be allowed to do so based on skin color but, with a wink and a nod, that’s what it leads to.”

    Basically that’s exactly what Southern states did in the 1890s to early 1900s. Poll tax/property requirements, Literacy/understanding tests, good conduct clauses, barring people convicted of crimes from voting, were are all supposedly “color blind.”

    Thanks JM Ashby for this excellent post.

  • BillAndersoot

    The solution to this is pretty obvious: apply the preclearance provision to every state. Why, for instance, should Wisconsin not be included? It seems to me any state where Republicans reside is a pretty good candidate.

  • cleos_mom

    Good points, but you used “intellectuals” and “Heritage Foundation” in the same sentence. Proofreading alert.