Today, the US Supreme Court issued a decision on the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It is unfathomable to me that our High Court would disenfranchise so many citizens. With a stroke of a pen, the Court has essentially invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
While the Court addressed Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the ruling makes Section 5 invalid and requires the US Congress to re-examine the VRA.
The Supreme Court struck down a central portion of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, effectively ending the practice in which some states with a history of racial discrimination must receive clearance from the federal government before changing voting laws. The vote was 5 to 4. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the decision.
Georgia and other states that have had historically discriminatory voting maps and patterns will no longer be required to pre-clear their maps through the Justice Department. Instead of showing the potential impact of discrimination on voters, this change will apply to after-the-fact discrimination. It places the burden of proof on ordinary citizens – those who can least afford lawyers.
This current ruling continues a pattern of the Justice Roberts’ Court of protecting big business and big government, as evident in rulings in the cases of University of Texas admissions and a recent ruling that removes the burden of companies for their supervising employees’ actions.
The Republican Majority in Georgia drew maps in 2012 that reduced Democratic voting performance. Georgia is nearly 50 percent Democratic and they diminished our voting strength to 32 percent through gerrymandered maps. However, today’s Supreme Court ruling may backfire when Democrats across the state rally.
Enough is enough.
Acting Chair, Democratic Party of Georgia
P.S. Stand with me TODAY and our party to protect rights that so many before us were persecuted and beaten for. By contributing $19.65, you can make a difference in honor of the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.