It’s not all confetti and party hats this week. The Supreme Court also decided to get rid of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act required that nine states get pre-approval from the Department of Justice before implementing any voting changes because those states had a history of making changes in voting laws for the express purpose of minimizing the ability of minorities and the poor to vote. Now that pre-approval requirement is gone and boy are Conservatives happy. Of course, Arizona happened to be one of those places (emphasis in the following quote is mine).
In one of the strongest statements welcoming the decision, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said the law requiring federal approval of voting changes “humiliates Arizona by making it say ‘Mother may I’ to the federal government every time it wants to change some remarkably minor laws.”
Ummm, voting is not a “minor law”. It’s a big fucking deal. In fact, it is one of the BIGGEST reasons we live in a free country today. To someone like me, someone who doesn’t have health care and keeps getting turned down, my vote for President Obama meant something very concrete and important. I will be able to get healthcare in 2014 and the insurance companies can’t turn me down. It is very likely that having insurance may save my life at some point in the future (I’m not getting any younger). That’s a BIG fucking deal and my vote helped to make that happen. So please Atty. General Horne sit down and STFU.
Thankfully, it doesn’t mean that states still get to do whatever they want. State laws can still be challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional–Arizona had it’s new voter ID law overturned on a vote of 7-2 by the Supreme Court just last week. The bad part is that judicial oversight happens AFTER the law has passed and done it’s damage. This is all conservative preparation for the 2016 Presidential Race. If they can’t win fair and square, it’s become apparent they’re willing to violate the foundation of democracy in order to tip the scales.