Jun
25
2013

BOOM: Supreme Court declares Section IV of VRA unconstitutional.

Short version: Section V (enforcing preclearances for racial gerrymandering) was not touched, but Section IV (that dictates the criteria used to determine when such a thing would be necessary) was killed, on the grounds that said criteria has long since passed its sell-by date. This effectively kills Section V, because Congress will not pass new criteria any time soon.  Chief Justice Roberts made the ruling, and it’s… elegantly vicious, in its way.

We will now pause as the Online Left freaks.

8 Comments

  • acat says:

    So .. any States with a GOP majority in the statehouse that want to pass Voter ID laws .. this was the go-signal, yes?
    .
    The defense of “dirty” voting (i.e. the status quo, no ID required, voter rolls not purged in decades, nobody looking at unrealistically high turnout in urban districts) has gotten quite pro-forma and non-vigorous.
    .
    This decision may .. hell, almost must .. cause some libs to shout “Racism!” at the top of their lungs, but .. a fix is past due, and now it can move forward.
    .
    This is a good day.
    .
    Mew

  • Aruges says:

    I’m not as sanguine on new criteria not being passed anytime soon. The same forces that drive the current idiotic amnesty push will drive a push to “save the VRA”

    If amnesty passes the house, this can too.

    • acat says:

      Ah, but the minute someone starts pushing, it immediately links to the IRS scandals via “True The Vote”…
      .
      I’ll take this opportunity – again – to point you at Ms. Eidenberg (http://alexandraeidenberg.com/) who is running in IL-04, currently represented by Luis Gutierrez, the so-called representative from Vieques.
      .
      Ms. Eidenberg is a Dem, obviously, but IL-04 was gerrymandered to include, among other things, long stretches of uninhabited railroad right-of-ways to make one majority-latino district – looks like “earmuffs” – that covers three very different majority-latino neighborhoods .
      .
      I bring Ms. Eidenberg up because, while there’s no way a GOP candidate can compete in IL-04, the seat makes a great example of the kind of sinecure that the VRA creates.
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      I would strongly suggest showing a map of IL-04 – there’s one on Wikipedia – to anyone anyone arguing *for* the VRA, and then asking where the good in this kind of divided district comes from.
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      In short, change the argument, put the VRA-defenders *on defense*.
      .
      Mew

      • midwestconservative says:

        As I understand it, Illinois is not affected by the VRA, most of the states that are, are in the South or Southwest. Illinois I’m pretty sure isn’t one of them, nor is Indiana. Illinois’ problem is a Democrat lock on their House of Representatives, and currently State Senate, and Governors Office. GOP used to control the Senate I remember but, they’ll never control the House for longer than one election cycle. Chicago just has too many representatives.

        • acat says:

          Chicago has too many bogus voters who vote at unbelievably (literally…) high rates.
          .
          No, Illinois is not covered by Section V .. but the VRA justifies the kind of extreme racial gerrymander that IL-04 represents.
          .
          Remove the VRA, or just remove the gate and leave the lever floating in midair as the SCOTUS did, and the rationale for majority-minority becomes equally weak.. especially when such majority-minority are constructed by breaking off pieces of very different communities.
          .
          Mew

      • Aruges says:

        This ruling won’t prevent “earmuff” districts from being created, it just means that DOJ can’t stop a state from drawing it’s district lines or changing it’s voting laws without asking for permission (until new rules are written anyway). Illinois can and will continue to do what it is doing as long as the Dems run the place (and probably the R’s too, just with different priorities). There’s too much to gain by grouping people in to blocks.

        • acat says:

          Yes, “earmuff” districts will continue to be drawn. That’s actually not a bad thing, politically. As Moe has pointed out, the GOP and the CBC have joined forces to draw more than one.
          .
          However.
          .
          The libs must now fight this in all 50 statehouses, not just in D.C., which gives us an advantage, yes? There are more of us, we are more skilled, rah rah rah?
          .
          Our reps, though, may need some spine-stiffening, and as the rationale behind “earmuff” districts is the same that’s behind the VRA itself, they make a good “public face” to put on this decision.
          .
          Which parses better, “No More Earmuffs!” or “keep DC out of our redistricting!” ?
          .
          Mew

  • Finrod says:

    One of my pet Hopeless Causes is an anti-gerrymandering Constitutional Amendment, to go something like this:
    .
    No congressional district shall be drawn that does not cover at least half of its state’s land area inside a rectangle consisting of east-west lines through the northernmost and southernmost points of the district and north-south lines through the easternmost and westernmost points of the district.
    .
    This by itself would eliminate about every awkward-looking district out there.

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