The Supremes take on the Voting Rights Act

It’s been a tough few months for my relationship with the Supreme Court. After witnessing the Court take a chisel to the 4th Amendment and the 5th Amendment in separate decisions, I still held high hopes for their decisions on Affirmative Action (which they essentially punted) and on the Voting Rights Act. In baseball parlance, I am now 0-4.

Here’s the thing – I just don’t think it says much about us as a society when we ask the government to give one set of citizens different treatment than another. I am well aware of the history of racial persecution that we have in our nation, but I am also aware of the fact that over the last 55+ years we have made great strides to rid ourselves of those old and evil prejudices.

Instead of asking the government to make a different set of standards for certain communities in certain parts of the country – standards that can be oppressive, expensive, and unwarranted – we as a society should stand up and demand a change in behavior. If there are still regions of this country where a person needs outside help to ensure their ability to basic rights, like voting, then we need to work together to shame those communities into change.

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To deny that in 2013 America is a very different place than it was in 1965 is to deny the historic culture shift that has happened over that time. Racism, whether direct or unconscious, is no longer tolerated in open society, and the darkness of racism has been shamed into small underground communities who are generally shunned by the population at large. We have elected an African-American as President and have African-Americans serve in many other prominent positions of power and influence.

Marching-for-the-Right-to-VoteThe Voting Rights Act needs to be done away with, not in part but in totum.  If we are to ever truly be free of the divisiveness of racism then we must live in a truly equal and free society. We cannot do that while a portion of our citizens are forced to comply with certain rules that do not apply en masse.

Only Justice Thomas seemingly agrees as he issued a separate opinion today where he said:

While the Court claims to “issue no holding on §5 itself,” ante, at 24, its own opinion compellingly demonstrates that Congress has failed to justify “‘current burdens’” with a record demonstrating “‘current needs.’”… For the reasons stated in the Court’s opinion, I would find §5 unconstitutional.”

It’s time to end the Voting Rights Act and Affirmative Action and allow every American – no matter race, creed, or color — to stand on equal ground.


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