Obama’s Voting-Rights Obfuscation

by - January 30, 2014

In 2014, President Obama simply claimed that “last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened,” indirectly referring to the Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. He solicited support for the effort by “conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats . . . working together to strengthen it.” This is a reference to the Voting Rights Act Amendment of 2014, which Representative Jim Sensenbrenner(R., Wis.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) recently introduced to overturn Shelby CountyOf course, the Shelby County decision didn’t actually weaken the VRA. It simply recognized that it is 2013, not 1965, and that the South no longer needs to be in federal receivership. The Court did not touch any of the other provisions of the law that protect Americans from voting discrimination, including Section 2, which is a nationwide, permanent provision.

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