by Doug Book, editor
The decision of the Supreme Court in Shelby County v Holder, a case to determine the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, will be published by the end of the month. Posted on CiR in March, this piece offers a little background on the VRA and instructions which AG Eric Holder gave DOJ employees—instructions designed to deceive Supreme Court justices as they considered the Act and the Shelby County case.
In yet another testament to the corrupt if inventive workings of the liberal mind, Attorney General Eric Holder recently decided to defraud the United States Supreme Court in the hope of preventing sections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) being ruled unconstitutional.
Section 5 of the VRA requires 9 Southern states and a number of jurisdictions in 7 others—all charged with a history of voting rights abuses–to obtain “preclearance” from the DOJ or the District Court of DC before making any changes to state electoral policies or procedures. Passed into law in 1965, Section 5 was enacted as an “emergency provision” designed to “promote full access to the voting process” and expire in 5 years. (1)
But now, nearly 5 decades later, Section 5 has become the darling of Civil Rights groups, the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ and liberal bureaucrats throughout the federal government as it has been inexorably amended into a sacrosanct behemoth which virtually guarantees “election success for certain candidates chosen by certain racial groups.” (1)
It was the Justice Department’s dishonest use of Section 5 which forbad the implementation of Voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina prior to the 2012 election. In fact, Holder and the Civil Rights Division blocked both laws from taking effect even though the changes proposed by the 2 states were patterned after the Indiana Voter ID law ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2009. (2)
Of course the Department’s behavior should surprise no one, for Section 5 frankly BEGS to be misused by the Democrat Party. After all, it provides a means of ensuring that voter fraud may be accomplished with the least amount of risk and offers a sure-fire method of intimidating states in most cases from even ASKING that preclearance be granted.
But then something happened. In 2009 the Supreme Court came very close to striking down Section 5 as Justices Kennedy and Scalia lambasted the law which both believed to be outdated, harmful and quite probably unconstitutional. And though the Court wrote a VERY narrow ruling allowing Section 5 to escape unscathed in the Northwest case before it, the die had been cast.
The left knew the Court must soon have another go at the law and, as a result, decided to do something so contemptuous it would have been thought impossible had it been contemplated by other than a liberal mind.
State lawmakers restricted by Section 5 provisions may seek an exemption in the form of a “bailout.” This involves satisfying a prescribed list of rigorous requirements in the text of the VRA itself. Once satisfied, Section 5 provisions no longer apply.
For years, the DOJ had deliberately made the bailout process virtually impossible to negotiate, even threatening states which dared make the attempt. But as the Supreme Court had gone to great lengths to grant a bailout in the 2009, Northwest case, the Holder Justice Department decided that bailouts might be the key to salvaging Section 5.
As former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams explains it:
Because the Roberts court bent the language of the statute to permit a bailout in 2009, DOJ now thinks a flurry of bailouts, some of them obtained improperly, will convince the Supreme Court that Section 5 is not much of a burden and should survive. Cranking out as many bailouts as possible is the deliberate DOJ strategy to convince Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy that Section 5 should survive because it really isn’t a heavy burden.
In short, Eric Holder decided to SCAM the Supreme Court, for the DOJ has gone from making bailouts impossible to obtain to literally soliciting their use by states and jurisdictions, telling them now is the time to get the bailout of their dreams! And as Adams says, it is Holder’s hope that, upon finding the bailout provision working so well and bailouts so easy to obtain, the Court will decide that Section 5 requirements may remain in force.
Monday, June 24th.
The Supreme Court has disappointed the American people on any number of occasions, one of the most recent being the ludicrous ruling by John Roberts on ObamaCare. This week, however, justices are very likely to find Section 5 provisions unconstitutional. CiR will look at key language of the decision as soon as it is published.