Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm no lawyer but

So the prankish conservatives of the Supreme Court have left section 5 of the Voting Rights Act intact, but thrown out section 4, which specifies which states section 5 applies to--it is now unconstitutional to say that it applies to these states, although it wasn't before, because African Americans now register to vote in those states in about the same proportions as whites, as in the chart below:
Since the law has worked so well, there is clearly no need for it. Section 5 is now doomed to an eerie limbo of applying only to imaginary situations, unless our less than hyperactive Congress decides to apply it to something in reality. Maybe, as Erik Loomis suggests, anti-lynching laws are unconstitutional now too, since there hasn't been one of those in decades.

You probably just missed the part of the Constitution where it says if it's fixed, break it.
Uncredited image from Rockland Family Court.
Ed Kilgore quotes Justice Ginsburg making the same point funnier:
Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.
The great Steve Benen has it down: Roberts's opinion literally does not attempt to explain what's unconstitutional about section 4! Like he knows why but it's just so hard to express. Is that a first?

Via Dr. Turk:
Plus, of course, times haven't changed!

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