The Corner

Voting Rights Act Editorials Today

Several prominent newspapers have editorials today urging the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in a case that is being argued before the Court this morning; the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today among them.

A common theme is the suggestion that the justices need to defer to Congress, but as Joshua Thompson and I explained on Bench Memos earlier this week, Congress deserves only limited deference in this matter. In particular, its reauthorization of Section 5 in 2006 was all about craven politics, not careful analysis.

What’s more, the editorials don’t acknowledge the other point that Mr. Thompson and I made, namely that the principal use to which Section 5 is put these days is coercing jurisdictions into drawing racially gerrymandered and segregated voting districts — which is quite at odds with the original ideals of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Striking down a statute that really is unconstitutional is not judicial activism — to the contrary, it’s what judges swear to do.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More