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August 22, 2013
15:44 // 11 months ago
July 25, 2013
18:40 // 12 months ago
July 17, 2013
14:45 // 1 year ago
July 3, 2013

Poll: Early reactions to last week’s headline-grabbing SCOTUS decisions

  • 56% of those who participated in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll said they approved of the Supreme Court’s decision DOMA ruling.
  • 51% of those polled said they approved of the Court’s Prop. 8 ruling, which cleared the way for state-recognized gay marriage to return to California.
  • 33% of respondents agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, with a 51% majority expressing their opposition to the ruling that portions of the VRA were unconstitutional. source
15:59 // 1 year ago
June 25, 2013

Here’s what SCOTUS ruled on the Voting Rights Act, in lay terms

  • question The Voting Rights Act mandated that certain jurisdictions in the country with a history of voter disenfranchisement (all in the south) receive pre-clearance from the federal government before enacting any new voting laws. The case on which SCOTUS ruled today questioned whether or not this is constitutional. 
  • ruling The court did not strike down the concept of pre-clearance; rather, struck down the specific formula currently used to determine which states require pre-clearance. So, until Congress can agree on and pass a new formula for this determination, no states will require pre-clearance anymore.

It falls upon congress to decide on a new formula—essentially, to figure out which states should still require federal approval to change their voting laws. Given how congress is these days, we’re exceedingly doubtful that any agreement will be reached anytime soon. source

16:01 // 1 year ago
nbcnews:

BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down a key part of 1965 Voting Rights Act
(Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters, file)
Live SCOTUSblog offers latest details.
Continue reading

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his opinion on the case: "Nearly 50 years later, [the rules laid out by the Voting Rights Act] are still in effect; indeed, they have been made more stringent, and are now scheduled to last until 2031. There is no denying, however, that the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions."
Thoughts?

nbcnews:

BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down a key part of 1965 Voting Rights Act

(Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters, file)

Live SCOTUSblog offers latest details.

Continue reading

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his opinion on the case: "Nearly 50 years later, [the rules laid out by the Voting Rights Act] are still in effect; indeed, they have been made more stringent, and are now scheduled to last until 2031. There is no denying, however, that the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions."


Thoughts?

10:27 // 1 year ago
April 17, 2013
Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. Even the name of it is wonderful, the Voting Rights Act. Who’s going to vote against that?
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia • Expressing his continued disapproval of the Voting Rights Act, which the conservative-leaning judge apparently views as a "racial preferment." Thankfully, much of the rest of the Supreme Court (and the United States as a whole, we’d wager) doesn’t seem to agree with him. source
14:42 // 1 year ago
February 27, 2013
[A] majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes…It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure.
SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein earlier this morning. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states with a history of voter disenfranchisement to obtain approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws. One possible outcome: The court strikes down the criteria used in Section 5, but doesn’t strike down the requirement for preclearance itself. If that happens, a new criteria for preclearance would have to be constructed and enacted. And who would be responsible for that? John Boehner and Harry Reid, of course. Sigh. More on today’s arguments here. source
13:41 // 1 year ago
January 24, 2013

Long lines at voting precincts deterred over 200k Floridians from casting their vote

201,000 Floridians didn’t vote in November because the lines were too long source

18:50 // 1 year ago
July 8, 2012
The Voting Rights Act wasn’t designed to be enmeshed in partisan politics. And that’s what is happening now.
Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School • Discussing the sudden legal pressure the Voting Rights Act is facing in states like Texas. The act was introduced in the 1960s to protect African-American voters from disenfranchisement at the polls. But recent state laws have begun to test its legality. Earlier this year, the Obama administration blocked a Texas law that would require voters to show photo ID, saying it was “unfair to minority voters.” Texas says it wants to prevent voter fraud; Georgia and Indiana have passed similar measures. Now, the fight is starting to heat up — with a hearing on Monday in a federal district court on Texas’ law, a possible prelude to a Supreme Court decision. Is it a reflection of the political climate? “Actions and interpretations that previously would not have raised partisan eyebrows are now seen as outrages,” said Persily. source (viafollow)
15:49 // 2 years ago