To The Point

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Posts tagged "voting rights act"
Today’s To the Point:
The President says he is “deeply disappointed” with today’s decision by a divided US Supreme Court, this time over the voting rights of blacks and other minority citizens. Writing for a 5-to-4 majority of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act — a major achievement of the civil rights movement — is out of date and therefore, unconstitutional. Roberts said federal guidelines for oversight of minority voting don’t reflect present reality. Nine mostly Southern states and parts of others will no longer have to ask Washington to approve changes in their voting laws. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past?  We hear the dispute that’s already raging.
LISTEN HERE»

Today’s To the Point:


The President says he is “deeply disappointed” with 
today’s decision by a divided US Supreme Court, this time over the voting rights of blacks and other minority citizens. Writing for a 5-to-4 majority of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act — a major achievement of the civil rights movement — is out of date and therefore, unconstitutional. Roberts said federal guidelines for oversight of minority voting don’t reflect present reality. Nine mostly Southern states and parts of others will no longer have to ask Washington to approve changes in their voting laws. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past?  We hear the dispute that’s already raging.

LISTEN HERE»

In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were.
John G. Roberts writing for the majority as the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. More from the New York Times.

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act covers all of nine states and localities in seven others whose histories of racial discrimination in voting led Congress to require them to get federal permission whenever they change voting laws. First passed in 1965, after voting-rights marchers were attacked by sheriff’s deputies in Selma, Alabama, it’s been extended several times, most recently in 2006, with huge majorities in the House and the Senate and the signature of President George W. Bush. Today it was lawyers for Shelby County, Alabama whose lawyers told the court the Act is not just out of date, but unconstitutional. During arguments today, the US Supreme Court was sharply divided. Justice Scalia called Section 5 a “racial entitlement.” Supporters called it as relevant now as when it was enacted. We hear about the arguments, how they were received and the prospects for a decision in June.

Guests:

Andrew Cohen wrote a piece that provides historical context for today’s Supreme Court Challenge to the Voting Rights Act. Read it here at The Atlantic.  

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while Martin Luther King and others look on, August 6, 1965.  
 
On today’s show, we ask: Do we still need the Voting Rights Act? 

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while Martin Luther King and others look on, August 6, 1965.  

 

On today’s show, we ask: Do we still need the Voting Rights Act? 

But past remains present to a disturbing degree in the South. It turns out that states and counties with a history of voting discrimination in 1964 are still trying to suppress the growing minority vote today. Consider, for example, that eight of eleven states in the former Confederacy passed new voting restrictions since the 2010 election.