Supreme Court declares victory on Voting Rights Act

June 25, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising the success of the Voting Rights Act over the past 48 years in eradicating voting discrimination on the basis of race:

“The Supreme Court has declared victory on the Voting Rights Act. As Census data revealed in the latest election, voter turnout among the races has achieved parity. Thus the circumstances that once justified the Act are no longer valid, the Court held, precisely because the Act was so successful.

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 implemented the 15th Amendment provision empowering Congress to enact legislation enforcing the protection against voter discrimination on the basis of race. It was enacted during a time of literacy tests and other Jim Crow laws that have long since been banned nationwide. In effect today, the Act gave the Justice Department de facto veto power over nine state legislatures’ enactments of any changes to election law that states would otherwise have had the power to put into effect.

“To withstand scrutiny today, the government was required to show there was still significant discrimination at the ballot box. Lacking that, the intrusion into Tenth Amendment powers reserved to the states could no longer be sustained. This is a good day in American history, when the past of racial discrimination at the ballot box can finally be put behind us. The Voting Rights Act has succeeded in its primary aim.”

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