I admit that voting is and has always been a celebratory ritual for me, even if the candidate is running unopposed, the office is state agriculture commissioner or my district’s makeup means my one vote won’t make much of a difference. I watched three older siblings march for civil rights, and I am well aware that many brave folks died protecting my right to cast that ballot. While a little rain or a busy schedule might provide an excuse to “sit this one out,” it’s never enough to outweigh the legacy left by a Medgar Evers, who served his country in World War II and was murdered in front of his Mississippi home for, among other civil rights activity, leading voter registration drives in the country he protected. Mine is not a controversial stand — in fact, it’s patriotic. You would think our country’s leaders, without regard to party or politics, would be on my side. You would be wrong.
When Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2013 wrote the majority opinion gutting key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — those that compelled certain states to “preclear” any changes in their voting rules — he insisted that so much had changed in the country that those rules were no longer needed. “The Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.”
Racism is dead, or on its last legs, he seemed to declare.
I would not call Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent cynical. It was realistic. As she wrote: “As the record for the 2006 reauthorization makes abundantly clear, second-generation barriers to minority voting rights have emerged in the covered jurisdictions as attempted substitutes for the first-generation barriers that originally triggered preclearance in those jurisdictions.”
Full Article: One Person, One Vote. Is It That Complicated?.