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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 04:32 PM

6. Great Washington Post editorial about the driver license investigation in Alabama

In Alabama, federal intervention protects minority rights

Washington Post, January 7, 2017

A LITTLE OVER a year ago, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) announced he would close dozens of driverís license offices ó many in poor and minority areas ó ostensibly to save money. Nearly all of Alabamaís majority African American counties were to be hit. This rightly prompted a national outcry. Alabama is one of the states that unnecessarily requires people to present picture IDs to vote. Making it harder for people in minority communities to get driverís licenses only enhanced the potential suppressive impact on minority voter turnout.

After Mr. Bentley hastily announced a partial and inadequate reversal, the story did not get much subsequent national news coverage. Luckily, the federal government did not forget. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced recently it had struck an agreement with Alabama officials to expand the hours that driverís license services will be available across the state. The agency found that the license office closures hit African American residents harder than others, running afoul of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination in state programs that take federal money.

Although Alabama did not concur with this assessment, it nevertheless agreed to ramp up driverís license services, sharply increasing the hours officials will be available to process license applications in various parts of the state. Some offices that were open only once a month will now see people two or three times a month ó still not much, but an improvement for working people who may not have flexible schedules.
Just as states can and should push back against federal overreach, careful and conscientious enforcement of federal law is necessary to protect Americans when their state governments betray its letter and spirit. This is an essential element of American federalism that has safeguarded people, particularly minorities, from abuse.


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StarfishSaver May 15 OP
EffieBlack May 15 #1
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stopdiggin May 15 #3
WhiskeyGrinder May 15 #4
sop May 15 #5
LineNew Reply Great Washington Post editorial about the driver license investigation in Alabama
StarfishSaver May 15 #6
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