In November, a controversial Supreme Court decision could hurt Biden

 March 29, 2024

The presidential outcome in November could be determined by an election-related Supreme Court decision that is unrelated to former President Donald Trump.

According to a recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice, an organization with a decided liberal slant, the racial turnout gap has steadily increased since 2013, when the Supreme Court invalidated a tool of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) against "racial discrimination in voting," as described by civil rights activists, as CNN reported.

A conservative majority on the high court dismantled the VRA in that Shelby County v. Holder decision by eliminating a key enforcement mechanism from the landmark statute.

More on the provision ...

By way of "preclearance" or federal sanction, states and jurisdictions with a track record of racially discriminatory voting practices were obligated to obtain such modifications prior to implementing them, including redistricting, voter ID regulations, and polling operations.

In the Shelby decision, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that "our country has changed" for the best and that special measures to prevent racial discrimination in the voting process were no longer necessary.

Black voter turnout had surpassed White voter turnout in many of the Southern states encompassed by the VRA's preclearance provision, he claimed as evidence.

In contrast, according to the Brennan Center study, the Supreme Court's analysis of the data was “was far too narrow.”

On voter turnout ...

It was stated that the racial turnout disparity in jurisdictions previously subject to the VRA's preclearance provision has expanded nearly twice as rapidly since 2012 as in other comparable regions of the country.

The study also stated that the high court significantly relied on a "narrow" racial turnout disparity in its Shelby decision, which was partially based on the 2012 presidential election.

The reduced disparity in voter turnout between the White and Black communities in that election can be attributed to a strong desire among the Black electorate to re-elect former President Barack Obama, rather than a fundamental transformation in America.

The Brennan Center study examines trends in the voter turnout disparity since 2008. However, due to the absence of comparable data for prior years, it is unable to provide a direct comparison of the current patterns to those that existed prior to the Obama administration.

Study conculsion ...

However, the conclusion of the study provides support for those who oppose the Shelby decision. Following that high court decision, proponents of voting rights asserted that it would be more challenging for African Americans and other non-White citizens to exercise their right to vote.

They asserted that states led by the Republican Party in the South would implement a surge of voting restrictions, which some now refer to as "Jim Crow 2.0."

The Shelby decision paved the way for a deluge of more voting legislation enacted by state legislatures lead by the Republican Party. A number of these jurisdictions were previously subject to the preclearance provision of the VRA.

At least three of those states—Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama—announced within twenty-four hours of the Shelby decision that they would pass or have already enacted stricter voter identification laws.

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