Civil and Human Rights

The Hook Comes Behind The Jab

By Charles P. Pierce


As the Supreme Court prepares to (I believe) pretty much gut the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the people who are cheering it on to do that very thing are before the Court again, this time to argue in favor of the voter-suppression infrastructure they are preparing to erect in the states once the federal law gets defanged.


“If Arizona’s brazen attempt to evade the mandates of the NVRA is upheld, it will make it tougher for voters in Arizona to register, and other states with legislatures that are looking to suppress the vote will surely try to pass copycat legislation,” said Doug Kendall, president of the liberal-leaning Constitutional Accountability Center. “If the Court accepts Arizona’s most sweeping arguments against the NVRA, its ruling could severely limit Congress’ power to protect the right of Americans to register to vote.”


This is what the long march has been about, ever since respectable conservatism married itself to the angry flotsam of American apartheid. Just as the civil-rights marchers believed that it was important to move toward the ballot, because that would make all of their other goals achievable, their opponents have moved toward restricting the ballot in order to make those achievements merely temporary. The objective is not to let minority voters — or, increasingly, young voters — exercise the franchise. The primary argument brought by the proponents of the Arizona law is that it is “non-discriminatory,” a laughable claim, but one that’s likely to find a sympathetic audience among justices who already believe that voting is a “racial entitlement” (Scalia), or that white people in the South have suffered enough from the unkindness of federal law (Roberts).


Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at UC-Irvine School of Law, told TPM that the “implications of this sleeper case could be profound.”If the Court holds that Arizona does not have to accept the federal form for voter registrations, it could have a major effect on the power of the federal government to impose rules on states for running congressional elections,” Hasen said in an email.


And that’s why the much-ballyhooed internal examination of itself that the national Republican party released today is pretty much all my b*lls.


“By the year 2050 we’ll be a majority-minority country and in both 2008 and 2012 President Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority groups,” RNC chair Reince Priebus said in a press conference debuting the report. “The RNC cannot and will not write off any demographic or community or region of this country.”


It can simply render them as voiceless as you can be in what purports to be a democracy.

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