Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act is in Real Trouble
Since the 1986 ruling in Thornburg v. Gingles, the Supreme Court has held that states must create districts where minority voters have a reasonable chance of electing their candidate of choice. SCOTUS is poised to overthrow that standard, gutting another provision of the Voting Rights Act.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
The Dangers of Compromise on Voting Rights
by Rachel Shelden
Are moderate Democrats seeking bipartisan support for voting rights legislation repeating the errors of the antebellum legislators who misunderstood the South's commitment to securing slavery at any cost including secession?
SOURCE: New York Times
These Restrictions Wouldn't have Passed Muster Before the Roberts Court Destroyed the Voting Rights Act
Election law experts agree that a host of new state laws would have failed the Justice Department's preclearance requirements under the pre-Shelby Voting Rights Act.
SOURCE: New York Times
Bouie: Manchin and Sinema Have Their History Wrong
Bipartisan support for 1960s civil rights legislation was an artifact of a fleeting moment of ideological diversity within the two parties. When it comes to voting and civil rights laws, partisan polarization has been the historical norm, and it's nothing to fear now when ballot access is at risk across the nation.
How America Lost the Commitment to the Right to Vote
"The Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan lamented in a dissenting opinion earlier this month, 'has treated no statute worse' than the Voting Rights Act. She’s right."
SOURCE: Election Law Blog
Breaking and Analysis: Supreme Court on 6-3 Vote Rejects Voting Rights Act Section 2 Case in Brnovich Case— A Significant Weakening of Section 2
by Rick Hasen
"The conservative Supreme Court has taken away all the major available tools for going after voting restrictions. This at a time when some Republican states are passing new restrictive voting law."
There’s Less Than Two Years to Save American Democracy
Voting Rights scholar Ari Berman discusses the past, present, and future of the ballot, and the parallels between the overthrow of Reconstruction-era voting rights and today's proposals to empower state legislatures and suppress the vote.
A Short History of the Long Conservative Assault on Black Voting Power
Eric Foner and Kevin Kruse discuss the historical precedent for the resurgent ideological position that some votes should be more equal than others.
The South's Jim Crow Barriers to Voting Rights are Going National
Columnist Hayes Brown says that it's only fitting that new Jim Crow-style voting restrictions are a national phenomenon; Thomas Rice, the minstrelsy performer who invented the Jim Crow character was a New Yorker who successfully peddled anti-Black caricature across the nation.
SOURCE: Mother Jones
Republicans Are Trying to Kill What’s Left of the Voting Rights Act
by Ari Berman
Voting Rights expert Ari Berman says that Chief Justice John Roberts's career gives troubling indications of how the court will rule on cases that could render the Voting Rights act impotent.
The Supreme Court is About to Hear Two Cases that Could Destroy what Remains of the Voting Rights Act
Chief Justice John Roberts has a long record of hostility to the Voting Rights Act, and authored the decision that weakened it. The Supreme Court is preparing to hear cases that may allow him to destroy the VRA.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old—And Hanging by a Thread
Atlantic Editor Vann Newkirk examines the recent and imperiled history of American democracy since the Voting Rights Act, including by interviewing Charles Hamilton, co-author of the keystone book "Black Power."
SOURCE: Perspectives on History
So Far Away from 1965
by Julian Zelizer
By the early 1980s, a new generation opposed to African American political participation was resurrecting the old bromide of “voter fraud” in what would eventually become a successful attack on the VRA.
Suffragists' Work Didn't End in 1920
by Mary Henold
Women of color and their allies truly won the right to vote for all American women not in 1920, but in 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
SOURCE: The Guardian
The five ways Republicans will crack down on voting rights in 2020
by Carol Anderson
Given what’s at stake next year, the effort to prevent people voting will be fierce. We’ve been here before – and we can stop it.
SOURCE: AHA Today
Historians help Congress understand the history of the Voting Rights Act
Julian Zelizer told the group that voting rights are once again under threat.
Now it can be told: The weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is the crowning achievement of GOP partisans who detested the law
A largely Republican countermovement of ideologues and partisan operatives who, from the moment the Voting Rights Act became law, methodically set out to undercut or dismantle its most important requirements.
SOURCE: Bill Moyers & Company
“The American Promise” — LBJ’s Finest Hour
by Gary May
It is unusual when a presidential address stands the test of time. Lyndon Johnson’s “The American Promise” belongs in that special group of historic speeches. It still speaks to an America torn by racial discord and a challenge to the right to vote for all.
Michael Lind: A No-Lose Fix for the Voting Rights Act
Michael Lind is the author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States and co-founder of the New America Foundation.By striking down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and thereby gutting the act’s Section 5, the Supreme Court has presented defenders of voting rights in America with a challenge—and a historic opportunity. The challenge is the need to avert a new wave of state and local laws restricting voting rights in the aftermath of the Court’s decision. The opportunity is the chance that Congress now has to universalize Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, to make it apply to all 50 states.
SOURCE: Bloomberg Echoes
Gavin Wright: Voting Rights Act Brought Major Economic Benefits
Gavin Wright is the William Robertson Coe professor of American economic history at Stanford University. He is the author of “Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South.”The Supreme Court’s rejection yesterday of a central element of the 1965 Voting Rights Act took aim at a measure that not only broke down barriers to political participation in the South but also made significant contributions to the economic wellbeing of black southerners and to the region as a whole.Some of the economic benefits were apparent almost immediately after enactment. Surveys reported more paved roads and streetlights in black residential areas, better access to city and county services, and increased black hiring in public-sector jobs, including police and fire departments.
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