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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:40 AM

Chief Justice Roberts' Long War Against the Voting Rights Act

When he was in his late 20s, John Roberts was a foot soldier in President Ronald Reagan administration's crusade against the Voting Rights Act. Now, as chief justice of the Supreme Court, he will help determine whether a key part of the law survives a constitutional challenge.

Memos that Roberts wrote as a lawyer in Reagan's Justice Department during the 1980s show that he was deeply involved in efforts to curtail the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, the hard-won landmark 1965 law that is intended to ensure all Americans can vote. Roberts' anti-VRA efforts during the 1980s ultimately failed. But on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, he'll get another chance to gut the law. Roberts' history suggests a crucial part of the VRA may not survive the rematch.

At issue in Shelby County is whether a major portion of the Voting Rights Act, called Section 5, is constitutional. Section 5 compels jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, mostly in the South, to ask the Justice Department for permission—preclearance, in legalese—before making any changes to election laws. Shelby County, Alabama, is arguing that Section 5 is an extreme measure that is no longer justified because racism is no longer the problem it once was. If Section 5 is overturned, voting rights groups say, the federal government's ability to ensure Americans are not denied the right to vote on the basis of race—at a time when race has been used as a proxy for party identification—will be severely weakened.


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http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/john-roberts-long-war-against-voting-rights-act

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:43 AM

1. And now is revealed the raison d'etre for the Roberts appointment.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:48 AM

2. I have said dozens of times, the Dems lost it all in 2005-2006

when they failed to filibuster Roberts and Alito.

The Conservatives now control the court and the Voting Rights Act is toast. The former Confederacy will quickly pass voting laws to re-establish white dominance of the elections and that is pretty much it for this country.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:58 AM

5. you mean 2000 when Ralph Nader and his 3rd party bull threw the election

 

because (sarcasm) Al Gore would have picked Alito and Roberts

btw, if you recall, Bush first named Harriet Miers knowing she wouldn't pass
very hard to stop a 3rd person

However, the south is quickly changing to blue.
MIght not be as easy for the repubs as they think IF it is overturned.

They do need 5 votes

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:59 AM

6. Actually I think it will be at the minimum 5-4 for the voting rights act. Kennedy will vote for it.

I also believe, regardless of roberts past, there is a 50/50 chance he will vote supporting the voting rights act.

To your suggestion that the Dems lost it all in 2005-2006, it wasn't because they failed to filibuster roberts and alito, it was because they have been failing to support basic Democratic party principles

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:49 AM

3. I'd vote to have Section 5 apply to every jurisdiction, nationwide.


They want fairness, how's THAT for fairness!

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

7. +1

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:55 AM

4. I did not believe he would support the ACA. Not only did he, but essentially wrote the argument for

the administration.

I personally believe that the voting rights act will be upheld by 5 to 4, possibly 6 to 3.

Working for an administration means you follow their marching orders. In other words they make the policy, not the workers. That is not to say Roberts isn't against the voting rights act.

However, Burger is a perfect example how things occur that are least expected. He was appointed by nixon, but helped achieve much of the civil rights we have today.

Perhaps falsely, I think Roberts is not the typical ideologue. If he was the ACA would have never passed

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Response to still_one (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:31 PM

10. I tend to agree with you.

Roberts may yet turn out to be the next David Souter (how cool would THAT be?) but to turn a phrase, the jury's still out.
ACA, VRA and Affirmative Action opinions will be deciding factors in his early career as CJ. He's smart enough to know that even though he knows Public Opinion isn't supposed to sway the Court, he isn't someone who will let the credibility of HIS court be undermined by that same independence. He knows that for the most part, The People trust the Court to make correct Legal Decisions, and he won't let that image be tarnished (Citizens United notwithstanding ,and I think his position on that is that if Congress guts that decision through Legislative Means, He would be OK with that, that's the way these things are SUPPOSED to work.)


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Response to Volaris (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:58 PM

11. I hope we are right

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:27 PM

8. According to the Justice Department Section 5 remains in effect through 2031

In 2006, Congress extended the requirements Section 5 for an additional 25 years.
http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/sec_5/about.php

Yet, Roberts wrote an opinion to the contrary in 2009. It's confusing legal mumble-jumble to me.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:38 PM

9. R#4 & K n/t

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