Editor’s Note: Opinion pieces do not reflect the opinion of Insider Louisville or anyone who works here. The staff at Insider Louisville have political and social opinions that cover every color in the spectrum. But we do strive to include all voices– conservative, liberal and every shade in between– on our site.
(Editor’s note: On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The court ruled 5 to 4 that Jim-Crow era discrimination no longer justifies requiring Southern states to seek Washington’s approval before changing election rules.)
By Ken Herndon
Once again the slim but radical majority of pampered white guys on the U. S. Supreme Court – yes, I’m including Justice Clarence Thomas – have relaunched the frontal assault upon our democracy.
In a blatant move to create a political apartheid system in this country – first with the Citizens United decision, which made legal the sale of our government to the highest bidder – and now, with this new ruling gutting the Voting Rights act, the unfabulous five have sent a clear signal to every Republican-dominated state legislature across the nation.
The message from the court to the states is that they should act quickly to further block the ability to vote for as many minorities and young people as possible in a sad attempt to retain power for a dwindling older Southern white majority.
And, to no one’s surprise, just hours after the ruling, Texas announced it will immediately implement its voter ID law that was struck down by as Federal Court just last year.
One provision of that law declares a hunting license a valid form of ID at a polling place, but not a student ID.
Similarly, the state of Florida in 2012 cut the number of early voting days and, in particular, cut out early voting on the Sunday before the election.
Which happens to be a long-standing tradition in the African-American community.
But, after folks from the targeted groups waited in line for hours, despite these efforts to dissuade them from voting, the Republican Party got a well-deserved spanking at the polls in the last presidential election.
The GOP lost by wide margins among blacks, latinos and young people in particular.
Subsequently, they – meaning the Tea Party that actually runs the Republican Party – had a choice to make: Change, or cheat.
It appears they have chosen the latter, with additional attempts at voter suppression and changing the way states count their electoral votes.
The Supreme Court majority, with this ruling, is attempting to help them.
Looks like short term gain for long term losses.
We will see.
About Ken Herndon: Ken Herndon, a native of Paducah, is a life-long Democrat, former candidate for public office and an original co-chair of the Fairness Campaign. Herndon has been involved in positions of leadership at local organizations, and with progressive causes., for more than 25 years.