Reversing Justice's Race-Based Politics; Lawsuit Challenges the Bad Part of the Voting Rights Act

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

Reversing Justice's Race-Based Politics; Lawsuit Challenges the Bad Part of the Voting Rights Act


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

From the department of silver linings: A bad ruling based on a bad law may lead to the bad law being overturned.

The bad ruling occurred after the black-majority town of Kinston, N.C., chose by a two-thirds vote - including a majority in black precincts - to switch to a nonpartisan voting system. Bizarrely, hard-left Justice Department official Loretta King last year outlawed the nonpartisan elections. She ruled that those same black voters would be unable to elect candidates of choice unless Democrat party affiliation was identified explicitly on the ballots. In short, Ms. King said those black voters didn't have enough sense to understand their own interests when they chose to hold elections without party labels.

On its face, Ms. King's ruling insulted Kinston's voters. It also was a misreading of the Voting Rights Act, which is meant only to mandate equal opportunity, not particular electoral outcomes.

Ms. King claimed authority for her decision under Section 5 of the act. The VRA is a valuable law, but Section 5 is controversial. It says certain, mostly Southern, jurisdictions - and only those jurisdictions - must secure pre-clearance from the Justice Department before adopting any procedural voting changes, including ones as simple as moving voting booths from a school's gym to the school's cafeteria. …

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