An intensifying conservative legal assault on the Voting Rights Act could precipitate what many civil rights advocates regard as the nuclear option: a court ruling striking down one of the core elements of the landmark 1965 law guaranteeing African Americans and other minorities access to the ballot box.At the same time, the view that states should have free rein to change their election laws even in places with a history of Jim Crow seems to be gaining traction within the Republican Party.
“There certainly has been a major change,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California at Irvine. “Now, you have a whole bunch of credible mainstream state attorneys general and governors taking this view. … That would have been unheard of even five years ago. You would have been accused of being a racist.”
Some of the shift appears to be driven by resentment of what tea party members and others perceive as an overgrown, out-of-control federal government, as well as by widespread concern among Republicans about claims of voter fraud at the polls. Part of the change could also stem from more vigorous enforcement of voting rights laws by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department.
The issue has surfaced in the Republican presidential contest, including at one of the televised debates, and could move to the front burner within weeks as a federal appeals court in Washington prepares to rule on the leading lawsuit against the Voting Rights Act. That case, brought by Shelby County, Ala., is backed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona and Georgia. At least three similar constitutional challenges are pending.
It really is this simple: the coming demographics doom the GOP. They know it. They're playing the Last Bastion Of White Male Supremacy card now before it's too late. Striking down Roe v. Wade and the Voting Rights Act and wanting constitutional bans on same-sex marriage and abortion, it's all about preserving their power when they become the new minority.
It's amazing. Talk about turning back the clock.