Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Forever 1965

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.


  1. Maybe it's forever 1765 not 1965. Some time ago The Chief (since departed for parts unknown a.k.a. bored with blogging) told people to read the Federalist papers. it was probably a sick joke, but I read some of that, and some offshoot docs of that same era written by the Important Men of the time. Pretty interesting to see their views of slavery. Clearly race issues go back that far, not just to 1965. So it's logical that states who had slavery embedded in their deepest fiber from day one might have a few cultural issues that are much more than this one law can "erase".
    I'm actually not up on this issue, and neither are you. So I'm not going to pretend to have a really intellectual, well-studied fact-based opinion. And my life has given me no real experience with laws effecting Southern States.
    HOW everrrrr. There's a huge red flag waving over this issue that requires no expertise, no personal experience o this issue. Just having been alive long enough to detect a Funny Smell.
    a.) there are TONS of outdated laws still on the books. Tons. Life and society has moved on, the law no longer speaks to the culture, some are laughable. They sit in the dust and none of us are aware of them at all.
    b.) No one cares. No one worries about the tragic lingering effect of these outdated, un needed laws.
    c.) People have been REALLY cranked up to get this law removed.
    d.) they have spent LOTS of time and money on it.
    e.) they are heavily emotionally invested in this law's removal.
    So. Either these people are all dumb as boxes of rocks, and very very bad managers of time and money, to the point of mental illness and rank incompetence.
    They have plans, and this law stands in their way. They have plans that will yield either more money, or more power to them and theirs if this law is repealed. The money/time invested will be well worth it if the law is repealed.
    No one, especially people who like power and money, spends ungodly resources unless they have a big pay off in mind.
    What kind of pay off is big enough to justify this expenditure? A simple reduction in paperwork? Annoying bits of bureaucracy if some township wants to alter a teeny tine law?
    That would be stupid. Much more costly than paying that Clerk of Court a bit of overtime.
    Hmm. So....something else. Something tasty, worth all of this fuss to remove a lame old law that no one needs anymore. Hmmm.
    Nope sorry just can't think of a thing. Guess these Southern fellas are just a really tidy bunch of guys. Cleaning up those books.
    I suppose next they'll work really hard to repeal that Mississippi Law that says if an unmarried man and woman have sex they can be jailed for 6 months and fined 500 dollars. Obviously the state of Mississippi would have NO budget problems what-so-ever if that law were enforced. So pretty sure that law is next, cleanin' up those books to reflect modern life and all....
    Nuthin' to see here.
    (Woolly Bully? why not Herman's Hermits?)

  2. Back for a minute.
    Are you implying you don't now and never have known any deeply racist people? I do and have. I could name names of people who would support a return to racist laws and segregation. I have a family member who calls MLK Day "Dead Nigger Day". And he jokes "if they'd shot 4 more of the bastards, I could have had the whole week off instead of just one day"
    That's just one example. This stuff exists, and people like me know it. It's gonna be hard to talk that away.