Hey all you Cool Cats and Chicks, this one goes out to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the rest of the liberal minority on the Supreme Court--who believe it will be 1965 forever.
Ginsberg wrote the dissenting opinion to Tuesday's 5-4 ruling by the high court striking down Chapter 4 of the Voting Rights Act--which required 9-states (and parts of 6 others) to get Congressional approval before making any changes to its voting laws. The Act was adopted in 1965 following the brutal efforts of Democratic Governors like George Wallace of Alabama and R Ross Burnett of Mississippi to keep in place the Jim Crow laws adopted by Democratic Legislatures decades before to prevent Black participation in the voting process.
To put it into perspective, in many heavily Democratic southern states, Black voter registration in 1965 was in the single digits. And all efforts to increase those numbers were met with fierce--and usually violent opposition. That was when the Feds stepped in and basically took away those state's rights to determine their own election laws--in order to enforce the 15th Amendment--adopted by the Republican Congress in 1870.
Unfortunately for the liberal minority on the Court, the drafters of the Voting Rights Act put sunset clauses into the law--allowing the affected states opportunities in the future to prove that they did not need direct Federal oversight of the election process. Those deadlines have been extended four times since the initial five years passed--but the most recent extension was challenged and taken all the way to the Supreme Court--because Congress based its decision on voting data dating back to 1975.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts cited current data--which shows African-American registration in Mississippi at 76-percent--higher than that of white citizens. He also referred to the change in demographic makeup of many voting district covered by the requirements of Chapter 4 as being radically different than they were in 1975. In effect, Roberts and the majority left open the possibility of keeping Chapter 4--so long as Congress used current data.
But Ginsberg and the liberal minority don't care about current data. They truly believe that the people--check that, the WHITE people--of those states will NEVER change their attitudes on race--and therefore must be denied self-governance indefinitely--regardless of the improvements that are born out by the numbers at the polls. The evidence that they cite? Ginsberg writes that Jim Crow laws were in place for "100 years" but the Voting Rights Act has "only been in effect for 50." Are we to assume that in another 50-years the Left will believe that attitudes have changed in those states? I think the next generation of Ruth Bader Ginsbergs on the Court will still believe the ghosts of 1965 are lurking right outside the door.