Vote Suppression, the Republican Game of Chess, but Democrats are Nearing Checkmate
Vote suppression is nothing new in America. Perhaps what is relatively new now, however, is just how blithely (and claiming they have the purest and most innocent intentions) Republicans have been embarking on vote suppression tactics while insisting that what they are actually doing is protecting the integrity of the election. Uh-huh.
In this tragically remarkable election year, in the midst of a pandemic which is picking up steam, in the midst of a slow-motion train wreck of an economic collapse as we slide into a second Great Depression, and in the midst of a convulsive reckoning on systemic racism, we also had the tragic loss of a giant among women with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. RBG wrote many memorable dissenting opinions in her time on the Supreme Court. And she once said of dissenting opinions “Dissents speak to a future age…That is the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” In the Supreme Court case Shelby County v Holder, in 2013, RBG wrote the dissenting opinion. To refresh your memory, that case struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in particular addressing Section 5 of the act, which granted the federal government oversight power on any change in voting law in “certain jurisdictions” in this country, i.e., those with a problematic history of racial discrimination. The majority opinion written by Justice Roberts in that case asserted “our country has changed” and so such supervision over the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, among others, was no longer necessary. Let the celebration begin. Racial discrimination and nefarious attempts to suppress the vote are a thing of the past. Uh-huh. I think, considering the recent Black Lives Matter protests, the White Supremacist-rooted plot against Governor Whitmer, the babblings of the Proud Boys, etc., I will just let the ridiculousness of Justice Roberts’ statement “our country has changed” speak for itself. Yes, certain things are better than they were in 1965, true. But can we agree the majority opinion of the Supreme Court that in effect declared racism was a thing of the past was maybe just a wee bit premature, not to mention too optimistically naïve?