Tag Archives: voting rights act

SCOTUS, Affirmative Action and the VRA

16 Jul

My gosh, it’s almost like lions and tigers and bears, oh my, with some on the Left. That, or the end of the world as we know it. Hyperbole not only abounds but also goes into warp speed. Chicken Little runs rampant and the sky is truly falling. First, liberals were disappointed on affirmative action and then more or less devastated on voting rights.

On affirmative action, an issue on which the Obama Administration and other liberals were hoping to score a clear victory of sustainment, the high court instead recently just punted the issue back down to a lower court for further review. MSN News reports:

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has sent back a Texas case on race-based college admissions to a lower court for another look. The court’s 7/1 decision leaves unsettled many of the basic questions about the continued use of race as a factor in college admissions. The compromise ruling throws out the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the Texas admission plan. Justice Kennedy said the appeals court did not test the Texas plan under the most exacting level of judicial review. He said such a test is required by the court’s 2003 decision upholding affirmative action in higher education.

The case involves Abigail Fisher, a white Texan who sued the university after she was denied a spot in 2008. She has since received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. The challenge to the Texas plan gained traction in part because the makeup of the court has changed since the justices ruled in 2003 on affirmative action in higher education. Then, Justice Sandra O’Connor wrote the majority opinion that held that colleges and universities can use race in their quest for diverse student bodies. O’Connor retired in 2006, and her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito, has shown himself to be more skeptical of considerations of race in education.

In short, universities can still consider affirmative action applicants — they just have to apply more stringent criteria in doing so and can’t do it “just for diversity” alone. They must means test applicants “…under the most exacting level of judicial review.”

On voting rights, with its recent 5/4 decision to RETURN to some states their inherent rights which the 1965 Voter Rights Act (VRA) took away from some Southern states which had historically suppressed the black vote, the SCOTUS is slowly moving us into the 21st Century and of course liberals, who ACT like they’re progressives while actually PREFERRING that people in their base stay stuck on the Democratic dependency plantation of the past, don’t like it.

In recent years, we’ve had two black Secretaries of State, a black UN ambassador, a Hispanic and a black Attorney General and a black (well, halfway and half-assed at least) president, just to mention a few. Affirmative action and Section 4 of the VRA aren’t needed any more. And of course the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the Left are predicting Armageddon because they foresee their cash contributions will dry up — and well they should — from blacks who think civil rights is still stuck back in the ’60s. Heck, Al and Jesse may have to finally get real jobs.

Some other alarmists on the Left, like Fox News’ The Five’s resident liberal, the avuncular Bob Beckel, say that even if things have changed in the last 48 years and these states should get back the rights which were taken from them, albeit arguably and justifiably at the time, some counties in those same states are “pockets” of black voter suppression to this day and should be subject to federal, congressional oversight, or some form of federal “formula” to ensure they stay on the straight and narrow.

Well, some counties may arguably still be that way, but if the states have progressed so that some of those same Southern states now have more registered black voters than white voters, why can’t the states monitor their own counties?

And, contrarily, what about those counties in liberal states, most notoriously in the Northeast and Mid-West, who are “pockets” of over 100% voter turnout (a statistical impossibility), to include multiple votes by the same person, votes by dead people and cartoon characters and votes suddenly “found” in car trunks? Can it not be argued they also should be subject to federal, congressional oversight, or some form of federal “formula” to ensure they stay on the straight and narrow? You betcha! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Despite all of the liberal hoopla, in and out of the misled and misleading meeed-ya, Eric Withholding Holder’s Department of INjustice can still sue states which it thinks are enacting laws intended to suppress the black, or other minority, vote. They just can no longer rely on the VRA doctrine of pre-clearance which up to now has required certain states to prove what they weren’t doing, rather than the DOJ now having to prove that they, just like any other states, are doing something wrong. Seems right to me. Innocent until proven guilty, burden of proof on the prosecutor and all that, right?

The bottom line is that affirmative action isn’t dead yet but may be appropriately wounded and only lives to be ever more strictly and narrowly applied and further adjudicated by the SCOTUS on another day, and voting rights were just brought into modern times as they should have been.

And Texas passed its voter ID law, which had previously been denied by the DOJ under the pre-clearance doctrine, within SIX HOURS of the SCOTUS decision. Talk about Texans being cocked and ready! And more states are expected to follow suit with their own voter ID laws, so stick that in your eye, liberals, or progressives, or whatever you’re calling yourselves most recently. Maybe the days of dead people and cartoon characters voting and suddenly “found” votes are coming to an end.

So, go back to sleep, Chicken Little. The sky is not really failing, although it may have just gotten a little more “cloudy with a chance of rain” for liberals. And, from my conservative perspective, I consider that a good thing.

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