Section 5 of Voting Rights Act

Section 5 Voting Rights ActVoting Rights has been a national discussion since the Supreme Court is likely to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Jesse Jackson said, “If they remove Section 5, streets cannot hold us. We’re not going back. If they remove Section 5, jails cannot contain us. We’re not going back.”

Congressman John Lewis says that striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act would be a “dagger” to Civil Rights.  Watch the video:

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Voting Rights Act Outdated: “dagger” or opportunity?

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act only covers certain states in the South and certain counties of a few other states in the nation.  (For a listing of coverage areas click here)  Yet in a speech where he states his support for keeping Section 5, ABC News records Vice President Biden as saying that “41 states had passed laws attempting to curb same-day voter registration and early voting, and other measures liberals say were aimed at curbing the turnout of minority voters…”

That being the case, it’s safe to say that the Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is indeed outdated.

It seems that voter protection is best served by striking down the provision and allowing Congress to rewrite it.  In my opinion, we are best served by ignoring the Supreme Court battle and pressuring Congress to draft something that is far more relevant to the current situation.

And what is the current situation?  Voter suppression is rampant nationwide!

As Mr. Biden said about his recent experience with President Obama’s re-election campaign, 41 states had passed laws that violated Section 5.  Certainly the South isn’t 41 states large.  And, if only nine states are completely covered that means the current formula is missing 32 states!  Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is definitely outdated.

So why are so many defending a provision that is clearly not working?  Maybe it is a “racial entitlement?”  Maybe we simply protect the provision as a comatose reaction…something we’re supposed to do if we “support Civil Rights?”

What do you think?

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