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January 22, 2022

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Voting Rights Act Decision Nears on Anniversary of Evers Death

Sometime in the next couple of days the US Supreme Court will decide if crucial components of the Voting Rights Act will stand. Which is why when I saw this court room sketch posted on the excellent SCOTUSblog I felt the need to post it.

From right to left you see Jess Jackson, Al Sharpton and then on the left John Lewis. All of these men, to varying degrees fought hard for this act – and lost many friends along the way.

Notables of the civil rights movement seated in the Supreme Court to hear challenge to Section V of the Voting Rights Act include John Lewis, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Notables of the civil rights movement seated in the Supreme Court to hear challenge to Section V of the Voting Rights Act include John Lewis, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Greg Palast, who has been at the forefront of fighting the Right’s (and sometimes the Left’s) push to limit voting rights wrote this for TheMudflats last week.

Without Section 5, the Voting Rights Act’s teeth fall out, and the Justice Department loses any real ability to stop Jim Crow tactics used to keep voters of color (mostly Democratic Blue) from registering and casting ballots.

Section 5 requires that 16 states with histories of Jim Crow voting restrictions “pre-clear” any changes in voting procedure with the Department of Justice.

But the right-wing Supremes say that Florida and other states subject to Section 5 no longer play games with voting rights. You can sign a petition the Greg Palast and myself started – co-signed by  Dr. Bernard Lafayette (co-founder SNCC) and Dr. Charles Steele – Chairman of SCLC – here.

50 years ago today, June 12th, Medgar Evers was shot in the back in his driveway by a white supremacist cutting short his life, and his work. He died carrying t-shirts that said “Jim Crow Must Go.”

Hopefully we won’t see it return – especially here in Alaska where thousands of Native’s will be disenfranchised.

Watch this Democracy Now interview with Evers widow Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Comments

comments

Comments
14 Responses to “Voting Rights Act Decision Nears on Anniversary of Evers Death”
  1. Zyxomma says:

    Zach, thanks for posting this. I’m on Greg Palast’s email list, so I already signed the petition. Voting rights could not be more important, but just as important is getting people registered, and urging them (and if needed, helping them) to vote in each and every election, primary and general. The midterms are nearly upon us, and we all saw what happened to Congress in 2010. Our country cannot afford a repeat tea party performance.

    This subject is so near and dear to me because, starting at age 15, I carried petitions door to door (yes, actual petitions to be signed in ink; no internet back then) to help get 18-year-olds the right to vote. One of our strongest mottoes was “old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” because there was a draft, and 18-year-old boys were being shipped to Vietnam.

    Well, it worked. When I turned 18 in 1972, one of the first things I did was register to vote. I never miss a primary or a general. In fact, I once went to my polling place on election day only to find out there was nothing up for a vote in my district. Living in NYC, that meant a less than five minute walk. I understand that’s not the norm in this country; PLEASE use your cars, vans, etc. to help get your neighbors to the polls! Register and vote! Yes, it means that occasionally you’ll be called upon for jury duty. So does having a driver’s license (which I don’t).

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/12/voting-rights-fears-of-the-largest-rollback-of-american-democracy-since-the-end-of-reconstruction/
    Some folks are not waiting to make plans if this goes badly. That’s a good thing.
    I’m not confident this current court will see the ability these government entities have to get themselves off the lists is adequate . That’s a bad thing.

    • mike from iowa says:

      What I remember about James Non-Sensenbrenner is he is not disposed to care about minorities,so his motive would have to be to protect his turf from the jusdiciary. Back in dumbass dubyas reign of terror,Tom Delay and other rwnj were gonna let congress decide which cases the courts could hear. I have heard recent rumblings of a similar nature when the Scotus doesn’t vote the way nutters pay them to. (some red potatoes are blooming,won’t be long-yum-yum)

      • Alaska Pi says:

        http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2013/mar/06/Are-Moore-Sensenbrenner-united-behind-Voting-Righ/
        He has done a lotta lulu things over the years- this one , the 2006 25 year extension of the VRA and the vow to undo any meaningful losses a Supreme Court ruling might impose seem off kilter in relation to his other history. How he fails to understand the kind of voter ID crap he calls common sense is not more of the same kind of barrier to voters as gerrymandering can be I don’t know.
        no fairsies on the spuds! Will be 2 months before I have flowers on mine – at least.
        Read a couple articles about the late heavy rains in your state pushing planting back quite a bit. I know doodly about corn and soybean crops and worry about what a favorite poet, Adrian C Louis , calls “evil corn ” (GMO stuff) but I worry a lot about farmers too. Are folks doing ok in your area?

        • mike from iowa says:

          Thanks for asking. We have slightly rolling ground in my area and the heavy rains don’t congregate too much. They do cause some erosion where the hills are steeper. The flatter lands east of me are still underwater(as much as six plus inches) and not only won’t drain away for a long period,but will also drown out whatever crops were planted there. Most farmers are REQUIRED to carry multi-peril crop insurance. The gov’t subsidizes around 63%? if I remember correctly. It will help cover loss of planting costs and seeds,but you won’t make a profit from it. There is quite a bit of soybeans unplanted and if not done soon,they won’t produce enough to cover expenses. Grain prices will go higher at least until the early fall guestimates from the USDA come out. Not all bad news because we rilly needed the rain and expect more for the next three days.It all evens out.

          • mike from iowa says:

            Almost forgot-my views about nutjobs are tainted. For some reason just the thought of rethugs makes me see red. Some of them should get some credit for showing decent human traits. OTOH I’d rather chew razorblades.than admit there is hope for some of THEM!

      • fishingmamma says:

        I’m getting fresh organic corn in my veggie box. this week. Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to share. But I do have lots of potatoes, I bought them at Costco, the fingerling ones, and made potato salad.

  3. AKjah says:

    thank you Zack. I have no hopes for our judicial system. My hopes are that you will continue to tell us whats going on. Keep on Zack keep on.

  4. mike from iowa says:

    Texas violates Section 5 more than any other state,according to this article-http://tinyurl.com/md8jrhm
    The good citizens of Alaska(we know who they are and aren’t) must watch for rwnj attempts to pre-empt federal laws and rulings like Texas is attempting. As one rethuglican said in the article,if Blacks are gonna vote 9 to 1 for Dems,then rethugs don’t want Blacks voting.

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