NC Voter Suppression Law Squashed
When the Voting Rights Act was gutted in the Supreme Court, Justice Roberts spoke in favor of the changes. The provisions requiring pre-clearance for states with a record of discrimination were not needed anymore, he claimed. The institutional racism of the past no longer existed, he said. Court decisions in North Carolina and Wisconsin, on July 29th, 2o16, showed he was very wrong. The North Carolina court ruled the state law was “a deliberate, almost surgical” attempt to reduce voter turnout of minorities.
Federal U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled that provisions in the Wisconsin Voter ID Law were also unconstitutional. Judge Peterson said the Wisconsin laws aimed to “suppress the reliably Democratic vote of Milwaukee’s African-Americans.” The judge issued a permanent injunction blocking the state from implementing the measure. He added that “voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression. Indeed, they are two heads on the monster.”
These two ruling follow a similar decision in Texas. In October 2014 a federal judge ruled the state’s SB14 photo voter ID law unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said “SB 14 creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans……The Court further holds that SB 14 constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax.”
Similar Republican state laws have been struck down in Arkansas and Pennsylvania. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruling said the law “would negate the object sought to be accomplished by the framers of the Arkansas Constitution.” In Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley stated in his ruling that the law would disenfranchise voters through no fault of their own. He went on to say, “voting laws are designed to assure free and fair elections. This law went against those freedoms, creating unnecessary barriers for Pennsylvanians exercising their right to vote.”
The Republican Party claim to be the protectors of the Constitution, while Republican state legislators and Governors constantly violate it with unconstitutional laws. Their priority is not to uphold the Constitution, but to suppress the vote of minorities. There are over 160 electoral college votes available in 11 southern states. These votes can only be sustained if they reach out to their minority population, or by restricting their right to vote. The Republicans choose the latter.