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Old June 25th, 2013 (6:25 AM).
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The Supreme Court has just ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Act is unconstitutional!

Here's the opinion:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf
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Old June 25th, 2013 (7:13 AM).
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    So what exactly does it mean? I dont feel like reading that whole bill. I know it has something to do with discrimination..
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    Old June 25th, 2013 (8:33 AM).
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    Well it means that today all States marked for past racist practices are allowed to change their voting legislation and make it harder for non-white minorities to vote without needing preclearance from the Department of Justice, and any changes that in fact made it harder for those people to vote (like changing their polling places every week or forcing them to pass exams before being allowed to register) would stay in place until a court ruled otherwise, if any even does. That's how it used to be before Section 4 (last passed almost unanimously in 2003 I think- only three representatives voted against it if memory serves).
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    Old June 25th, 2013 (9:59 AM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Went View Post
      Well it means that today all States marked for past racist practices are allowed to change their voting legislation and make it harder for non-white minorities to vote without needing preclearance from the Department of Justice, and any changes that in fact made it harder for those people to vote (like changing their polling places every week or forcing them to pass exams before being allowed to register) would stay in place until a court ruled otherwise, if any even does. That's how it used to be before Section 4 (last passed almost unanimously in 2003 I think- only three representatives voted against it if memory serves).
      So how much will this affect voting, i think most places allow anyone with the proper credentials to vote... as far as i know if you have your id and your registration card you can vote.

      I've never seen discrimination take place at a polling station personally and i worked at a few
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      Old June 25th, 2013 (10:09 AM).
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        Well, many liberals even believed that the act was a bit dated, but just as Went said, this does open the door for many conservative states to use underhanded methods to prevent minorities, who typically vote democrat, from being able to vote at all. We will see if these states try anything...I won't be surprised if they do, since they were doing this past presidential election with the sudden moving of districts in the New England states, even when Section 4 was in place. I don't think the US has moved beyond racism and discrimination enough to facilitate this. But hey, SCOTUS is essentially a bunch of evil old conservatives constantly underestimating or even overestimating current social consciousness and ideals.
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        Old June 25th, 2013 (11:28 AM).
        ANARCHit3cht ANARCHit3cht is offline
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          While this might not be a morally sound thing, I do agree with the Supreme Court's ruling. As what are supposed to be independent states, we should be governing ourselves. The Federal Government is merely meant to be the string that binds us all together. As history has proven, even with the minority votes bogged down, progress is still made in the proper direction--perhaps all the more so in the face of such adverse conditions.

          @KingCharizard: As mentioned a little earlier, there is plenty they can do to make it difficult for minorities to vote. At times, it has been property or wealth requirements, at others, literacy or other tests. They will look for anything that they can prey upon and move in to capitalize on that opportunity to block the unwanted votes. Often times, this will even block the votes from the white people they want who just so happen to fall into the same category. To remedy this, they brought in things such as the Grandfather clause, which allowed many illiterate whites to vote, if their Grandpa had. Now, I know that in a modern age they can't be so blatant about their tactics, but you can bet your ass they'll be trying everything they can like this.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (12:06 PM).
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          http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/best-lines-ginsburg-dissent-voting-rights-act-decision#13721904971141&action=collapse_widget&id=8340726

          Lists cases of states attempting to disenfranchise black voters.

          All of these cases happened when the VRA law - Now that part of it is struck down, we will be seeing many more attempts like this. A lot of them being sucuessful.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (1:18 PM).
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          Well, one hour after the ruling, the Texas Attorney General gladly announced that they were going to enforce the ID law and the redistricting that had been blocked by the Justice dept. Awesome!

          This said, it's been section 4, no section 5 that has been stricken down. In other words, preclearance is still okay, but the map of States that required it no longer is- so it's up to Congress to redraw it. Sadly we aren't talking about the 2006 (no 2003, my error) Congress that voted in favour of the VRA by 98-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House. We are talking about the Congress that can't pass a Farm Bill supported by the Majority.

          I'm sorry for all the minority voters in those States.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (1:43 PM).
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          With any luck, Congress will wise up and just make it apply to every state if they wish to keep this in effect. Though that would be quite expensive to administrate, so I don't see Congress redrawing the map to encompass every state, if they even do at all at this point.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (1:59 PM).
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by ANARCHit3cht View Post
          While this might not be a morally sound thing, I do agree with the Supreme Court's ruling. As what are supposed to be independent states, we should be governing ourselves. The Federal Government is merely meant to be the string that binds us all together. As history has proven, even with the minority votes bogged down, progress is still made in the proper direction--perhaps all the more so in the face of such adverse conditions.
          I'm not too good with American politics, but I can say here that that's just one opinion. There are many opinions about what the federal government and the nature of the states should be. I don't know if the US would be the same if the states were treated as supposedly independent states. For one, Texas, New York, and California would probably the only states with any international relevance <-- okay that's kinda off topic, but what I'm trying to say is that the federal government, to me, is what gives the US its greatness today. I'm not taking this too seriously, just pointing out that there are many, prominent, and to me valid visions of the United States of America (all subject to their own justification, but you know what I mean).

          I don't know how wise it would be to "allow the states decide" election policy that can affect national elections. That just doesn't sound right. I read Mr. X's article and a lot of the problems seem to have to do with gerrymandering. I dunno about the US, but in Canada elections are handed to a non-partisan government agency and as a result gerrymandering isn't really a problem. Nobody is going to redistrict a province/territory whenever they get into power because the existing districts are "unfair". You also don't have ridiculous acts of inaccessible ballot stations either. Elections Canada runs the entirety of federal elections and it only make sense that federal elections have one standard.

          Besides, isn't the reason the federal government is intervening in this case is protecting the individual right to vote? I thought protection of the individual was the highest virtue an American could hope for. So why should states be given more power when that level of government has historically and continually demonstrated that it would allow for such discrimination against the individual? The irony is that some of the founders favoured a decentralized government to prevent an over-reaching federal government's tyranny over the individual, but the fed has to step in because the it's the state level that's causing the tyranny, not the federal government. While I can see why a weak central government can be appealing, I don't know why it would be appealing in this case.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (6:43 PM).
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by KingCharizard View Post
          So what exactly does it mean? I dont feel like reading that whole bill. I know it has something to do with discrimination..
          As Went said before, the Court upheld the preclearance requirement (Section 5), but they ruled that using decades-old data to determine which jurisdictions require preclearance is unconstitutional. Congress with have to determine the jurisdictions based on current data.
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          Old June 25th, 2013 (8:06 PM).
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            It makes sense to use new data, as some of the places with voter discrimination might've shifted to some places beyond the old data. However what worries me is that congress is left in charge...it's too divided...in someways almost as divided as pre civil war... (which interesing tid bit after the South left, the North, lead by the still young Republican party used the absense of the southern Democrats to pass several laws they previously couldn't due to said divide...).
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            Old June 26th, 2013 (1:50 AM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by donavannj View Post
            With any luck, Congress will wise up and just make it apply to every state if they wish to keep this in effect. Though that would be quite expensive to administrate, so I don't see Congress redrawing the map to encompass every state, if they even do at all at this point.
            Sadly with Congress being divided and hyper-partisan it is highly unlikely a new law based on recent studies on race relations in the United States will pass to address the history of voter suppression in various states and counties.

            Even recent studies have shown (which was used when the Voting Rights Act was unanimously reauthorized in 2006) that most voting discrimination still occurs in the areas (from the data used) covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
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            Old June 26th, 2013 (3:04 PM).
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            From what I understand, the decision yesterday is a double edged sword. On one hand, it makes sense that we need to start looking at current data for deciding which states need permission to change voting legislation instead of data more than thirty years old. Unfortunately, on the other hand, we need to get current data and have Congress draw up a new map fast otherwise states that are going to change legislation based on race are going to be free to do so without restriction and I think some already have (looking at you...TEXAS)
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            Old June 29th, 2013 (8:19 PM).
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            Is the Voter ID business a big deal?

            We do it here in Canada. You need one of three ways to identify yourself:
            1) Government-issued photo ID (driver's license, health card, passport, etc.)
            2) Two pieces of paper that have your name and address on them (a letter, a bill, a cheque, etc.)
            3) Have someone vouch for you

            It's not difficult. But you voting system is just screwy to begin with. You should not have long lines. Somebody is doing something wrong

            Anyway, like BlahISuck, I find it really weird that's states would decide the parameters for a federal election. State/municipal elections, okay. But not Federal.

            The preclearance still exists, which is good. And I'm find with updating (I think they just did it in 2006 or so, no?) as that's always good. Don't have much faith in the current Congress to do that successfully though. But that's the note the role of the SCOTUS though I guess. Not to focus on the now, but the forever.
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            Old June 30th, 2013 (7:09 AM).
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
              Is the Voter ID business a big deal?

              We do it here in Canada. You need one of three ways to identify yourself:
              1) Government-issued photo ID (driver's license, health card, passport, etc.)
              2) Two pieces of paper that have your name and address on them (a letter, a bill, a cheque, etc.)
              3) Have someone vouch for you

              It's not difficult. But you voting system is just screwy to begin with. You should not have long lines. Somebody is doing something wrong

              Anyway, like BlahISuck, I find it really weird that's states would decide the parameters for a federal election. State/municipal elections, okay. But not Federal.

              The preclearance still exists, which is good. And I'm find with updating (I think they just did it in 2006 or so, no?) as that's always good. Don't have much faith in the current Congress to do that successfully though. But that's the note the role of the SCOTUS though I guess. Not to focus on the now, but the forever.
              You forgot the fourth avenue of identifying yourself, through a sworn oath before an official.
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