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Did Supreme Court Overturn Voting Rights Act To Promote Equality?

800px-Lyndon_Johnson_and_Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._-_Voting_Rights_Act (1)The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act involving many southern states and several localities in northern states like Michigan was unconstitutional. The provision had previously required that these states obtain approval from the U.S. Justice Department to make election changes. The landmark decision has sent civil rights activists expressing outrage over the result, which many including President Barack Obama, has labeled a setback for blacks and their right to vote.

Yet, is that true? The reality is that the facts presented to the court have proven otherwise. It appears that the civil rights community seemed to exist in a perpetual time bubble. They kept decrying the sins of tragic injustices from a half century ago or more, yet offered no substantive proof that those same conditions existed in the present.

Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to agree. He concluded in writing for the majority that it was clear that 40 year old data used by Congress and relied upon by civil rights activists was not reflective of the nation and the progress made to date.

So instead of being cajoled into continuing to recognize the false narratives that liberals have been using as talking points to punish southern states and counties like Shelby County, Alabama, the court’s majority said enough is enough. There has been substantial progress toward equality and this law’s unconstitutional provision cannot be a license to punish a state or a locality into perpetuity.

This is the 21st century. The U.S. Supreme Court saw no evidence that the same states which bore the mark of racism in their practices regarding minority voting rights were still engaged in those practices. So should they continue to be marred with the title and legal penalty? Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito decided that, absent proof, the law’s now unconstitutional provision has no legal legs to stand upon.

According to the Huffington Post, the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund decried the ruling as a step backwards for civil rights.

Really! If this were the case, then where was the supporting evidence that localities in Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina or in Shelby, Alabama, were still violating the voting rights of blacks?

The only answers that could be offered were declarations of what could happen, instead of proof of actual discrimination. What could happen is not a legitimate reason to continue to saddle voting districts with extremely costly voting compliance actions that are no longer necessary or needed.

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Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.