Supreme Court considering challenge to Voting Rights Act

The Huffington Post’s Mark Sherman and Jay Reeves have written an analysis of the possibility of the Supreme Court reviewing the Voting Rights Acts, passed in 1965, to prevent certain states from carrying out discriminatory voting policies.

The article is Voting Rights Act: Supreme Court Weighs New Look At Law:

The basic question is whether state and local governments that once boasted of their racial discrimination still can be forced in the 21st century to get federal permission before making changes in the way they hold elections.

Some of the governments covered – most of them are in the South – argue they have turned away from racial discrimination over the years. But Congress and lower courts that have looked at recent challenges to the law concluded that a history of discrimination and more recent efforts to harm minority voters justify continuing federal oversight.

The Supreme Court could say as early as Monday whether it will consider ending the Voting Rights Act’s advance approval requirement that has been held up as a crown jewel of the civil rights era.

The Voting Rights Act has been around for a very long time and has become part of the political fabric of the nation, especially the states in the South that are the specific targets of the act.

My experience, after living for 25 years in one of those states, is that the act needs to remain in force. Somebody from the outside needs to be watching.

When Republicans negotiated an end to Reconstruction in exchange for the presidency in 1876, things did not go very well for minorities in the South for the next 75 years. History, occasionally can teach us a thing or two.

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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