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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

 
Texas AG Greg Abbot is first to the post in hoping to gleefully restrict voting rights after VRA strikedown

by David Atkins

With Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act undone by the 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wasted no time in going to Twitter to rub his hands together in anticipation of the disenfrachisement he'll be able to pursue:



Two things stand out here:

1) As bad as this is, the silver lining is that these people are running scared. For all the doubts on our side about whether demography really is destiny or not, the other side is fairly panicked. Given the choice between moderating their positions or desperately attempting to narrow and whitewash the electorate, they've openly chosen door number two. That choice might advantage for a cycle or two. Scuttling VRA to implement a restrictive Voter ID might or might not delay the inevitable red-to-blue shift of Texas at the presidential level for an additional four years. But it does guarantee the additional enmity and hatred of minority voters and whites who care about social justice--something that GOP elites in Washington have been trying to pull back from after their wake up call in 2012. It's a pennywise, pound-foolish move that will ultimately hurt them more than it helps.

2) Let no one ever say again that politics is a fool's errand, or that it matters not whether a Democrat or a Republican takes office. By removing the specific protections of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the only protection against massive predations against minority voters by "states' rights enthusiasts" will be a Department of Justice willing to prosecute and defend the general protections of Section 5. In that context, the political tendencies of the Executive Branch becomes that much more important.

And, of course, the presence of yet another bare 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court only highlights just how partisan the Court has become, and how much difference it will make to have even just one more appointment when it comes due.


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