The Supreme Court Decision On The Voting Rights Act

Thank goodness the Supreme Court upheld the continuation of the Voting Rights Act in a case just decided, but it did allow a specific jurisdiction in Austin, Texas, to come out from under the regulation of the law.

This, it seems to me, sets a bad standard for the future, so is regrettable.  But even more disturbing, is that one Justice, Clarence Thomas, the only African American member of the court, kept up his prima donna image of resisting his own heritage and experience, by declaring that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that states get advance approval of changes in how their elections are conducted, should be declared unconstitutional.

Thomas’s reasoning is that the conditions in the South that led to the Voting Rights Act no longer exists, and therefore the oversight is no longer needed.  Thomas seems not to have studied US History and the abuses visited on African Americans in the years after the Civil War, despite the existence of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed anyone of race or color the right to vote, and yet was totally diobeyed for nearly 75 years. 

While certainly those kinds of abuses no longer exist, history tells us that Congress, and even President Bush, in calling for the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, knew that it was still necessary.  The idea that the only minority Justice would be the lone one to call for the repeal condemns him to ricidule and ostracism, something which probably has no effect on this man, indeed an odd duck if there ever was one on the Supreme Court!

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