The Corner

Politics & Policy

Jeb Bush Making Sense on Voting Rights

It’s pretty clear in this video — which is making the rounds on the left — that Jeb Bush is talking about efforts to resurrect Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and he’s quite right that no new legislation is needed. The Supreme Court struck down only one part of the Voting Rights Act — the part that singled out some jurisdictions, mostly in the South, to “preclear” any voting changes with the federal government — and that part was indeed unconstitutional and was never a permanent part of the Act anyway. There are plenty of other voting-rights laws available, federal and state alike, to ensure that the right to vote is not violated.

Mr. Bush might have added that the principal bill that has been drafted is bad legislation. For example, it does not protect all races equally from discrimination; it contains much that has nothing to do with the Supreme Court’s decision; and it itself violates the Constitution by prohibiting practices that are not actually racially discriminatory but only have racially disproportionate effects. The bill is also hopelessly partisan; at Senate hearings last year, it was clear that no Republican would favor it, because it is designed to give a partisan advantage to the Left.

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