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Thu Jun 25, 2015, 09:09 AM

Two years ago today, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act

Two years ago today, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County vs. Holder opinion. This is also a good time to remember the importance of the SCOTUS and the importance of the swing vote http://www.projectvote.org/blog/2015/06/shelby-county-and-the-power-of-the-scotus-swing-vote/
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Two years ago today, the Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to the Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County v. Holder decision. Shelby County invalidated the coverage formula of the VRA, effectively nullifying the section that required jurisdictions that had a history of discriminatory voting practices to get federal preclearance before any new voting practices could be implemented. In the years since Shelby County, the number of states that have proposed laws that restrict access to voting is staggering. The obvious and far-reaching effects of this 5-4 decision highlight the incredible influence and power a single Supreme Court justice possesses.

Shelby County is not unique in its 5-4 split. It is not unusual for the outcome of a case to depend on the decision of a single swing justice. Some of the most prominent cases since the turn of the century have been 5-4 decisions: Bush v. Gore, Citizens United v. FEC, NFIB v. Sebelius (Affordable Care Act). When the fate of such consequential cases can hinge on a single vote, the retirement and replacement of just one new justice could be huge.

The current SCOTUS bench is among the oldest since the New Deal. The average age of retirement for the past nine justices is 80.3 years old, and there are already several sitting justices who are approaching or past that age. It is the role of the president to appoint new Supreme Court justices, and because of the age of the current bench, he or she will almost surely be called upon to fulfill that duty. As 2016 approaches, the prospects of another general election that could includes another Clinton or Bush may leave many Americans feeling less excited about the election than they did it years past. With several aging Supreme Court justices, however, the significance of the 2016 election—irrespective of the eventual nominees—is astronomical.
Justice Age
2016 2020 2024
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 83 87 91
Antonin Scalia 80 84 88
Anthony Kennedy 80 84 88
Stephen Breyer 78 82 86

The table above shows the ages of the four oldest justices at the next three elections. The justices’ ages in 2024 are included because incumbent presidents who run for reelection win two-thirds of the time, meaning that whoever is elected in 2016 has a good chance of remaining in office until 2025 if he or she chooses to run again.

This election will be one of the most important election in recent history as to the direction of the SCOTUS. I live in Texas and I have seen the results of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Turnout in the 2014 race was depressed for Democratic candidates. In my county, it appears that we lost 9000 to 11000 votes. Statewide the GOP candidate for governor in the 2014 race got 10000 more votes than the GOP candidate in 2010 but the Democratic candidate was done almost 300,000 votes.

Elections have consequences we need to remember how important the SCOTUS is. Two years ago today, we saw the Voting Rights Act gutted.

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Reply Two years ago today, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act (Original post)
Gothmog Jun 2015 OP
Gothmog Jun 2015 #1
okasha Jun 2015 #2

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 02:05 PM

1. Justice Ginsberg on the Voting Rights Act

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 03:17 PM

2. This is why we absolutely must have a candidate who can win.

The Supreme Court--one single justice--has the power to expand social justice as they did today with Obamacsre, or to set social justice back by decades as they did two years ago.

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