Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
The New York Times editorialized today their desire for the Supreme Court to uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the portion of the law that makes states with a history of discriminatory voting practices go through a series of checks before changing voting rules in those areas. The election of President Obama, they say, is not reason enough to peel back a law intended to expand and protect the franchise.
The election of the first African-American president last year was an undeniable sign of racial progress. But even that breakthrough cannot ensure that legislative districts will not be gerrymandered, voting rolls purged or election procedures modified at the state and local levels in ways that diminish the rights of minorities. For that, as Congress wisely recognized, we still need the Voting Rights Act.
We’ll stay on top of this. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on this today. We’ve shot a couple of tweets to Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic who will be at the White House tonight for President Obama’s prime time presser. He’s soliciting questions for the news conference. We submitted two, one about election reform generally, and the other about Section 5 of the VRA.