I know you’re all exhausted with the voting wars but they just never, ever quit so we can’t either:
The Supreme Court said Friday it will review a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that has been the federal government’s most forceful tool in protecting minority rights at the polls. The decision ensures that race and civil rights will be the hallmark of the current Supreme Court term.
The challenge to Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was launched two years ago, and the court added it to its docket just days after an energized minority electorate played a critical role in the reelection of President Obama, the nation’s first African American president.
Republicans joined Democrats in renewing the Voting Rights Act in 2006, because they were too cowardly to gut historic civil rights legislation in Congress.
Here’s former President Bush, signing the reauthorization:
Today, we renew a bill that helped bring a community on the margins into the life of American democracy. My administration will vigorously enforce the provisions of this law, and we will defend it in court. (Applause.) This legislation is named in honor of three heroes of American history who devoted their lives to the struggle of civil rights: Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King. (Applause.) And in honor of their memory and their contributions to the cause of freedom, I am proud to sign the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. (Applause.)
That was for the cameras. They didn’t mean a word of it.
After renewing the Voting Rights Act, conservatives took it to a court because they don’t want elected conservative lawmakers held accountable for gutting the Act.
The VRA was absolutely key in the last two years as a federal protection against voter suppression in the states. You may read about some of our successes here.
Finally, here’s the (thankfully) unsubtle Harry Reid on the current situation in Arizona:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday that Arizona must work faster to count 525,000 outstanding votes.
In all, 1.8 million votes were cast in the state. Reid said he is concerned that nearly one-third of Arizona’s votes — including 350,000 from Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix — remain unaccounted for.
“All of the votes in Arizona must be counted promptly, accurately and equally. The uncounted votes in Maricopa County alone represent a major portion of the total votes cast in Arizona on Tuesday,” Reid said in a statement.
Reid alluded to potential abuse of minority voters.
In his comments, Reid mentioned that the Supreme Court would consider a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters. Specifically, the court will deliberate a portion of the law that makes states with a history of discrimination get federal approval before changing voting laws.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear challenges to the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. That right is not secure when some votes are counted while others are suppressed or ignored. I expect state and local officials in Arizona to ensure that every vote is counted promptly, accurately and equally,” Reid said.
If Republicans are really worried about their image maybe they should drop the clever marketing and expensive consultants and instead try something really radical, like being straight with voters. What is the official Republican position on the Voting Rights Act and access to voting in general? Why do they support voting rights when the cameras are rolling while pursuing a legal strategy to gut the Voting Rights Act behind the scenes?