Jul
01
2013

I doubt that there’ll be a significant update to preclearance.

Short version: preclearance was set up by the Voting Rights Act to require various locales to submit their redistricting maps to the Justice Department prior to implementation, on the then-reasonable principle that certain states weren’t exactly thrilled about this entire ‘integration’ thing. So far, so good; only, we never updated the locales that needed watching, and it’s been almost a half century, and the Supreme Court warned Congress that they needed to do something, and Congress decided that they didn’t want to have that discussion, and so they just renewed the old rules one too many times, and the Supreme Court staked the old preclearance rules once and for all last week.

Now there’s mutterings about setting up new preclearance rules – only, here’s the thing. Just picking the old jurisdictions to be targeted will merely result in the courts throwing the whole thing out again; the Supreme Court Hath Spoken. And picking new jurisdictions will be… politically risky; and contra that Hill article a lot of the people who will be at risk will be Democrats, too. You see, voters don’t like being told that their state is so racist that it needs the Justice Department to keep an eye on it – and, of course, there’s an election coming up.

Mind you, there always is.  So: I expect a sound and a fury, signifying nothing – or at most, a list of a couple of the most problematical locations.  Then again, I am quite often wrong.

Moe Lane

5 Comments

  • Finrod says:

    I anticipate you’ll be proven correct. Congress loves to take the path of least resistance, and in this case that’s letting this go without doing anything.

  • midwestconservative says:

    And assuming in the future pass preclearance rules ( and the GOP doesn’t stop them) there is always the potential the Supreme Court will rule Section V UC, which will make Liberal’s heads explode again.

  • heyjames4 says:

    Rather than doing the work of making a preclearance list Congress will authorize the Attorney General’s Office, or some new Commission, to craft a pre-clearance list by regulation. This passing the buck.

    • jbird says:

      ding ding ding, winner!

      • Moe_Lane says:

        Nah, I don’t think so. The Supremes get REALLY CRANKY when Congress tries to ignore their rulings. If the end result puts the old rules back, the court will simply throw *those* out and generally rule that the administration isn’t allowed to do that sort of thing at all. That’s why so many people on the Left are quietly worried about the NLRB rulings: the Court might decide to invalidate recess appointments, period.

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