Comments on: A signal it’s time to change the court http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/02/04/a-signal-its-time-to-change-the-court/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Anonymous http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/02/04/a-signal-its-time-to-change-the-court/#comment-70635 Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:21:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=17647#comment-70635 In 2012, Section 5 shouldn’t be necessary, but it clearly is. It is frustrating to be a Texas resident who lives in one of those illegally drawn Congressional districts. It was clear to all observers that they were illegally drawn at the outset, the State then used my tax money to litigate the case with the Federal government. The Court rules that they were in fact illegal, yet conceded that at the time of the ruling it was too close to the election to change the districts without further damaging the Democratic process. So, elections continued, voting rights were suppressed, the Republican-led gerrymandered plan lost in court but won at the ballot box, which is all they care about.

The courts will require the maps to be redrawn for 2014, yet all indications point to the same farceaand al litigious outcome. Without Section 5, there would be even less hope.

Detractors say that you can’t judge laws that don’t overtly consider race (like voter ID laws) by the effects they have, even if they are discriminatory. Unfortunately, some local governments have shown over and over again that they are willing to use sophisiticated voter data to carefully predict the net outcomes of new laws and tweak them to their benefits. (E.g. A voter ID law that permits a concealed handgun license to be an acceptable ID, but not a disabled veteran card). Simply put, it is naive to assume that in today’s world that the law-writers aren’t fully aware of the outcomes of the voting laws they create, just as they were years ago when men were required to be landowners to vote.

Because even with Section 5, in States like Texas, where the Republican leadership sees that it’s in their best interest politically to break the law and then litigate, I propose a stronger Section 5. Much like a recidivist criminal might get harsher penalties for each successive crime, a three-strikes rule could place map drawing in the hands of a federal panel of judges for an extended period (10 years?) for those bad actors who insist on repeatedly flouting the law and subverting our democracy.

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By: kramartini http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/02/04/a-signal-its-time-to-change-the-court/#comment-70622 Tue, 05 Feb 2013 01:38:48 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=17647#comment-70622 It is truly disgusting that the author is lauding Section 5 for its role in fostering political apartheid in America by forcing states to draw districts along racial lines (i.e. a black district here, an Hispanic district there, etc.)

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By: RogerClegg http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/02/04/a-signal-its-time-to-change-the-court/#comment-70610 Mon, 04 Feb 2013 20:28:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=17647#comment-70610 Here’s why Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is bad policy, outdated, unconstitutional, and ought to be struck down by the Supreme Court: http://www.pacificlegal.org/opeds/Overtu rn-unconstitutional-Voting-Rights-Act

What’s especially ironic is that the principal use to which Section 5 is put today is forcing jurisdictions to create and maintain racially segregated and gerrymandered voting districts – which is completely at odds with the original ideals of the Civil Rights Movement.

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