Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, the South is More Racist

Voting Rights Act Section 5's Covered Jurisdictions, which are More Racist

When Wednesday John Roberts and the solicitor general questioned whether any southern concentration of racism was a rationale for Voting Rights Act Section 5’s constitutionality, cynics responded as though the chief justice was blind to a vicious national legacy. One American Prospect article — leaning on a 2005 analysis that concluded the U.S. South was especially racist — was redistributed through Twitter at least 300 times over a day.

The American Journal of Political Science analysis, aforementioned, “Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South [PDF],” concluded “the regional gap in racial conservatism has not closed since [the end of the Civil Rights era.]”

The exchange between the justice and administration lawyer was in the context of a Supreme Court challenge to the decades-old Voting Rights Act, by Alabama’s Shelby County — a challenge on whether mostly southern states, due to Section 5’s “preclearance requirements,” should have to run voting-law changes by authorities in Washington.

Here were words of the two:

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: General, is it — is it the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?
GENERAL VERRILLI: It is not, and I do not
know the answer to that, Your Honor, but I do think it was reasonable for Congress —
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, once you said it is not, and you don’t know the answer to it.
GENERAL VERRILLI: I — it’s not our submission. As an objective matter, I don’t know the answer to that question. But what I do know is that Congress had before it evidence that there was a continuing need based on Section 5 objections, based on the purpose-based character of those objections, based on the disparate Section 2 rate, based on the persistence of polarized voting, and based on a gigantic wealth of jurisdiction-specific and anecdotal evidence, that there was a continuing need.

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15 Comments on "Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, the South is More Racist"

  1. Section 5 IS unamerican and unconstitutional. It’s quite blatantly discriminatory, and ought to be _expanded_ until it isn’t. I mean look at what’s going on in the rest of the country right now. Why is it OK for Pennsylvania to pass blatently racist, classist voting restrictions, but if Georgia were to try that it would need to be pre-cleared by the feds? The proper, constitutional response to a bunch of racist assholes is not to say “well, we’re going to more strictly scrutinize the areas where racists seem to live”…the correct response is “we’re going to more strictly scrutinize _everyone_, just in case those fuckers move!”

    • Nice one. Yup, I tend to agree with your assessment Brian.

    • You forgot Ohio and New Mexico and you are right as the work of Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attests. Minority voters across the country have discriminated against since 2000 and each election cycle it gets worse. Trouble is it isn’t just the black vote anymore, now it’s the Latino and Native American vote as well. Of course this would all go away if these groups would just stop trying to vote Democratic. Karl Rove would be so pleased.

    • You forgot Ohio and New Mexico and you are right as the work of Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attests. Minority voters across the country have discriminated against since 2000 and each election cycle it gets worse. Trouble is it isn’t just the black vote anymore, now it’s the Latino and Native American vote as well. Of course this would all go away if these groups would just stop trying to vote Democratic. Karl Rove would be so pleased.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Mar 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm |

    it’s extremely difficult
    in one of the most racist
    if not THE most racist Kuntery in the whirled
    to tell which region is more racist

    with the largest prison population in the world
    mostly composed of dark skinned minorities
    you need a minority looking Puppet Prez to pull that off today

    • InfvoCuernos | Mar 4, 2013 at 12:07 am |

      If you think the US is the most racist country(Kuntry?), then you’ve never been to Mexico with a black man. I’m not saying the US isn’t, but there are a lot more racist and more blatantly racist places on the “whirled”.

      • BuzzCoastin | Mar 4, 2013 at 12:14 am |

        I’m suggesting that imprisoning minorities in disproportionate numbers
        12% of the population = 60% of prisoners
        makes Der Homeland The Most Racist

        name calling racism and discrimination are heinous too
        but I’d take that form of prejudice over a jail cell or lynch mob any day

        oh & I’ve refined the term to Kuntery
        sorta sums up the Nanny State nicely
        no offense to kunts intended

        • InfvoCuernos | Mar 4, 2013 at 12:22 am |

          If you get lynched before you can get to a jail cell, then it doesn’t matter.

          Either way, its pretty heinous shit.

          On the surface, you would think that a “black” president would do something

          to cut down on the prison numbers
          until you realize that he’s just another puppet.

          I’m the way they will balance the prison pop will be sending more people

          of all colors to prison.

          They could always just make the whole island of Manhattan a prison.

          I saw that in a movie one time; that seemed to work.

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 4, 2013 at 12:52 am |

            the Black Puppet Prez thing was an interesting twist wasn’t it?
            I knew it wasn’t real, despite the great show
            but I had no idea where they were driving it
            till about 90 days into term one
            fucking brilliant move by the elites

            yeah, you’re right
            Der Homeland is already a FEMA Camp
            but PrisonUSA Inc is more about:
            cheap profits, slave labor and keeping the darkies under control
            they don’t need to put the Whites in jail
            they’re already enslaved


            Funny how Ralph Nader called it all at the very fucking outset.

            “To put it very simply, he is our first African American president; or he will be. And we wish him well. But his choice, basically, is whether he’s going to be Uncle Sam for the people of this country, or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations”.Ralph Nader, 2008See him justify that statement here:”He has gone along with corporate power from the moment he entered politics in the state senate…”He can be a great President or he can become a toady for the corporate powers that have brought both parties to their knees against working people in this country, and have allowed our country to be hijacked by global corporations who have no allegiance to this country, other than to ship its jobs and industries to fascist, communist dictators abroad who know how to keep their workers in their place…”

            By the way, to anyone who missed it: the whole Tyler Bass School of Reporting is really something to see.

            edit / update:
            funny pics!

  3. Good write-up Tyler. Thanks.

  4. the rural parts of the north arent really much better. working class people are always going to find some scapegoat to pin all their frustrations on. if only they realized that we are being destroyed by the super rich, not the few single mothers that can qualify for a welfare check. still, hearing n bombs an hour north of nyc isnt exactly a rare event.

    • DrSanchezMD | Mar 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm |

      one of the ways the super rich destroy the power of the working class is by allowing huge numbers of 3rd world immigrants to come in and compete with local labour. its not the only weapon against unions and wages, but it sure as hell is one of them.

  5. All the republicans crapping about The Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the likes of the REPUBLICAN House should move aside in 2014 because the REPUBLICANS are the crux of the problem. President Obama won the elections of 2008 AND 2012 fair and square but the REPUBLICANS are not allowing him to govern through their rule of RECORD number of filibusters in the Senate and the HOUSE of REPUBLICANS has achieved nothing since it came to power in 2010. In 2014 its the REPUBLICAN’s time to go and let OBAMA our democratically elected PRESIDENT rule the country and leave a legacy behind like the achievements of the 2008-2010 years when DEMOCRATS had the House Senate and the Presidency. We want the obstructionist REPUBLICANS out of the way in 2014. We want our House and Senate back in the DEMOCRATIC hands so we can govern and achieve something. All these doomsday fiscal deadlines that REPUBLICANS keep pushing on the country will haunt them in 2014!! Mark my words. March 4th 2013. Vote Democratic always!

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court: Discrimination is alive today unfortunately; Liberty and justice for all is openly sabotaged and the Supreme Court is inviting trouble of great magnitudnal proportions if it dares to fail its ultimate mandate: to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights. We not only need to keep the protections in the current Voting Rights Act, it should be expanded. The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last years voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to rear its head once again. The entire nation will speak against it because the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is not about political parties; the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is about individual rights protection. Bank on it! it is time to review; the Supreme Court’s “entitlements” as, it is no longer acting as an unbiased institution and that, your magistrates , can be amended. get up and do your job or we will make it happen! count on it! Now Even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights law on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end’s on this ? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ? Well I will tell you what I think. I think there may be a dozen or two, man and women in America that have the means to buy the power it wants to call all shots in this Country. The only way they can obtain this right now is get the people they went in office. To buy them so to say. But they know they can be stopped at the voting polls.They know the more that get out and vote there chances are reduced substantially. George Will knows this and should be ashamed. He say 47 years old. Is that old ? I don’t think so. Look at the constitution, at that II Amendment a lot older right. SS, Medicare, still very new in the big picture. But look at who wants to change them. Not working men and women, no the big bosses. They do not like to mach payments that is what this is all about. They did not like it back in the 1930s and they do not like it now. So Americans do not be fooled and all of you older people that now have this little benefit fight like h— to keep it just as it is. It just might be all there is between eating and striving !! The argument is that VRA is discriminatory against Southern states to require them but not other states to seek preclearance for voting laws; I actually agree. The Voting Rights Act should require *all* states to seek preclearance. After what we’ve seen the GOP try to pass in states all across the nation prior to the last election, I see no reason this safeguard against voter suppression should be limited to just Southern states as suggested by VRA.

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