May 21, 2013

There is no longer any black/white racial gap in voting

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

Readers of this blog know that PLF has been heavily involved in Shelby County v. Holder — a case currently pending before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  PLF believes that the law has outlived its purpose, and that it forces “covered” jurisdictions to engage in unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.  With respect to the first point — that Section 5 has outlived its purpose — a just-released study by the Pew Research Center lends further support.  The study reveals that in the 2012 election, black Americans voted at a higher percentage than white Americans, and that white Americans were more likely than black Americans to experience problems in voting.  You can read the whole study here.  The Wall Street Journal has a nice write-up of the research here.

Once the Supreme Court strikes down Section 5 — which I fully expect it to do in the next 30 days — you are sure to see op-eds, articles, and letters claiming that the impact of the decision will be that minorities are once again going to be discriminated against in great numbers.  Pay these Chicken Littles no mind.   “Admitting that a prophylactic law as broad as §5 is no longer constitutionally justified based on current evidence of discrimination is not a sign of defeat.  It is an acknowledgment of victory.”

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