Friday, July 5, 2013

How Will Congressional Republicans Respond to the Gutting of the Voting Rights Act?

Republicans, in the wake of the Supreme Court's gutting of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, face both opportunities and risks in terms of how they respond.

Per the terms of the 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision, federal pre-clearance of state changes in voting laws is still constitutional, but the 1960s-era criteria used to determine which states and areas must be pre-cleared was voided by the court.

Congress, in turn, has the prerogative of passing legislation establishing a new criteria for pre-clearance.  But for the GOP, leaving Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act void could prove to be politically advantageous in terms of voter turnout.  On the other hand, new legislation re-establishing an updated version of Section 4 might be seen by minority voters as a bona fide goodwill gesture.

CBS News examines this issue.  The article is linked below.

CBS News: Which Way For the Republicans in the Wake of the Voting Rights Act Decision?

"The decision caught Republicans between newfound state autonomy that conservatives covet and the law's popularity among minority, young and poor voters who tend to align with Democrats. It's those voters that Republicans are eyeing to expand and invigorate the GOP's core of older, white Americans."

---CBS News

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