One of America’s oldest problems still exists: how to protect the voting rights of non-white citizens


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This article is the first forum in the court Decide in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a professor of law at the Stetson University School of Law, a researcher at the Brennan Center, and the author of the book Political brand. She writes for herself, not for her organization.

2021 marks the 151st anniversary of the passage of the 15th amendment to the Constitution, which made racial discrimination in voting unconstitutional. In its ruling, the Supreme Court once again placed the lofty goal of racial equality in the 15th Amendment out of reach. Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.

In the decades after the 15th amendment was approved, it was a dead letter in many parts of the South.Even the Supreme Court is Brnovic Admit: “Despite the approval of the Fifteenth Amendment, the voting rights of African Americans have been severely suppressed for nearly a century.”

Despite this suppression, as I wrote HereMany African-American politicians are active members of the Republican Party or “Lincoln Party.” These black politicians spoke out at the National Convention, urging them to protect the privileges of non-white citizens.As early as 1872, African Americans William H. Gray, A member of the Arkansas legislature told Republican National Convention,”[B]Lack of people…knowing that they cannot vote for those who say to them when they want to vote,’You now have your rights; what else do you want? They cannot vote for those who refuse to recognize or implement the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the constitution. “

Back in our time, turning a blind eye to the needs of non-white voters is still a national disaster.The latest example is on July 1, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled Brnovic (Has been with Arizona Republican v. Democratic National Committee).legal problem In this case: “(1) Arizona’s out-of-constituency policy (not counting provisional ballots cast in person outside the electorate designated by voters on election day) violated Article 2 of the Voting Rights Act; (2) Arizona The ballot collection law only allows certain people to process early ballots completed by others. Does it violate Article 2 or the 15th Amendment of the Voting Rights Act.” The Supreme Court did not even resolve the arguments of the 15th Amendment, and It is a strict statutory interpretation of the Voting Rights Law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that these two restrictions in Arizona law had a negative impact on Hispanics, African Americans, and especially Native Americans. As the Supreme Court concluded, the 9th Circuit “found that these different burdens were partly caused by or related to the social and historical conditions that caused inequality. Among other things, the court relied on a history that dates back to the territorial age of Arizona. Racial discrimination, current socio-economic disparities, racially polarized voting and racial election appeals.”

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit’s ruling and ruled Brnovic Arizona’s out-of-constituency policy and its ballot collection law, HB 2023, does not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the law was not made for racial discrimination purposes.

According to Arizona law, voters who vote in the wrong district will be abstained. But the Supreme Court said contemptuously that “mere inconvenience is not enough to prove a violation” of Article 2.

The big picture about the cause Brnovic What is so important is that it shows the Supreme Court’s pessimistic view of voting rights-a topic that split the states and split Congress after the 2020 election. In 2020, many states Provide voters with more choices In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including easier mail-in voting opportunities. Then came Donald Trump’s “big lie” and his naive refusal to give in.The fact is Brnovic Long before all the hustle and bustle around 2020. Instead, the problem is that Arizona’s series of restrictions hit voters of color and Native American voters particularly severely in 2016.

What happened in 2021 is that Blue State basically maintained its expansion in 2020, even Improve voter voting rulesAt the same time, the red status is based on “Big lie“Trump really won the election. He has been making stricter voting rules. These rules are written by groups like this.” American Heritage Action.

At the same time, at the federal level, the largest voting reform of this generation, Bill for the people, When it failed to overcome the Republican Party’s obstruction of the bill, it reached a deadlock in the Senate. Hope now turns to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, named after the late civil rights hero. The bill will respond to another Supreme Court ruling, Shelby County v. Holder, It broke Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Even if it passes Congress, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act may not solve all problems. Voting restrictions The states have been promulgated in 2021. Brnovic, The road to challenge the legitimacy of the restrictive laws of the states is much narrower.

The 22nd rule is that if voters do not like the politicians who set these restrictions and want to abstain from voting, this will become even more onerous as new voting restrictions will be implemented.

Students of American history have seen this movie before. The United States has a long and dirty history of rejecting franchise rights for non-white citizens. The great speaker Frederick Douglass spoke on voting rights at several RNC meetings. In 1876, Douglas asked,”[W]What is your right to vote? If black people cannot exercise this freedom after they are free under your law, what is all this?[?]”

Twelve years later, Douglas address At the 1888 Congress, the deprivation of the rights of black voters was a growing problem. He begged him to be mainly white audiences,”[L]Let us remember that these black people are now deprived of the right to vote under the constitution… Let these people stop trekking to the ballot box with blood, but extend the arms of the Republic over them, and change their way to the ballot box. Get straight and as smooth and safe as any other citizen. …I speak on behalf of the millions of people who have been deprived of their rights today. He never gave up the idea that his countrymen would stand up on the issue of cross-racial equal voting rights.

As a country, we should be clearer now. The Supreme Court should of course know better after 151 years. But once again, in 2021, the people most vulnerable to trampling on voting rights are citizens of color. therefore, Brnovic Intensified the urgency for Congress to strengthen the protection of the voting rights of all Americans.



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