I was thinking all day about what I’d say about this latest Supreme Court decision … but couldn’t say it any better than Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, which was so biting that it caused Justice Alito to roll his eyes (because, you know, women! What do they know about the law, am I right, guys?).
“Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination,” she wrote.
“Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today. The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story. Without even identifying a standard of review, the Court dismissively brushes off arguments based on ‘data from the record’ … One would expect more from an opinion striking at the heart of the Nation’s signal piece of civil-rights legislation.”
She then listed many many examples of how the law had been used just in recent history to prevent discrimination, thus proving that it is needed.
Basically, the majority did what conservatives call “judicial activism” which they claim to hate (except when they don’t). This was a law that had been held Constitutional previously, and (as Ginsburg points out) was a re-enactment of an already existing law. The majority ignored the many examples Congress gave when it passed the law, and instead imposed its will over the elected officials and decided we didn’t need the law. That’s not what the Court is supposed to do.
What the majority said, when you boil it down, was “We agree there is still discrimination, but we don’t care.”
So now the floodgates are open. If you think Republicans had been trying to keep people from voting in the past, you haven’t seen anything yet.