We just re-elected our first African-American president. Pretty overwhelming proof that we don't need a Voting Rights Act to protect against discrimination in voting, right?
Wrong. In fact, it is because we have a Voting Rights Act that hundreds of thousands of voters were able to cast the votes necessary to re-elect President Obama. So it is disconcerting to realize that the Supreme Court accepted for review a case that many think will lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 getting struck down. Section 5 of the act in particular is in trouble. It requires a number of states, mostly in the South and all with a history of discrimination, to get permission from the federal government before changing their election procedures.
As Columbia law professor Nathaniel Persily warns in the New York Times, we should begin preparing now for the likelihood that this landmark law will be struck down.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment