June 28, 2013 by gabnormal
Tuesday SCOTUS found section four of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.
The VRA, made law in 1965, required certain parts of the United States (those which were found to generally give black people a hard time when it came time to vote) to apply for changes to be made to their voting process. These proposed changes could then be either cleared or struck down by the federal government or federal court.
In the last 48 years this law has worked so well to make sure that minorities are able to vote that the Supreme Court felt it was no longer needed.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “”In the Court’s view, the very success of §5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy.”
It only took two hours before Texas made changes to their voting procedures.
In a 5-4 decision SCOTUS effectively made it so that many states will now be able to impose any type of restriction all willy-nilly, much like the voter identification laws that were narrowly escaped from by Pennsylvania voters, who would have been required to show a photo ID on voting day in the 2012 presidential election.
The problem with this? About 99.9% of the time, men don’t change their name when they get married. Women do. Also, about 99.9% of the time, women get their drivers license around the age of 18, and don’t get married until after the fact. So, their new name and their drivers license name won’t match. Voter ID laws would prevent them from being allowed to vote.
President Obama issued a statement following the ruling, expressing his disappointment in the court:
I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.
As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.
Despite the wonderful decisions regarding the termination of DOMA and Prop 8, the Supreme Court has failed its country with it’s ruling to get rid of section four of the Voting Rights Act.