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Voting Rights Act



  • Bouie: Manchin and Sinema Have Their History Wrong

    Bipartisan support for 1960s civil rights legislation was an artifact of a fleeting moment of ideological diversity within the two parties. When it comes to voting and civil rights laws, partisan polarization has been the historical norm, and it's nothing to fear now when ballot access is at risk across the nation.



  • There’s Less Than Two Years to Save American Democracy

    Voting Rights scholar Ari Berman discusses the past, present, and future of the ballot, and the parallels between the overthrow of Reconstruction-era voting rights and today's proposals to empower state legislatures and suppress the vote. 



  • The South's Jim Crow Barriers to Voting Rights are Going National

    Columnist Hayes Brown says that it's only fitting that new Jim Crow-style voting restrictions are a national phenomenon; Thomas Rice, the minstrelsy performer who invented the Jim Crow character was a New Yorker who successfully peddled anti-Black caricature across the nation. 



  • So Far Away from 1965

    by Julian Zelizer

    By the early 1980s, a new generation opposed to African American political participation was resurrecting the old bromide of “voter fraud” in what would eventually become a successful attack on the VRA.


  • Suffragists' Work Didn't End in 1920

    by Mary Henold

    Women of color and their allies truly won the right to vote for all American women not in 1920, but in 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. 



  • “The American Promise” — LBJ’s Finest Hour

    by Gary May

    It is unusual when a presidential address stands the test of time. Lyndon Johnson’s “The American Promise” belongs in that special group of historic speeches. It still speaks to an America torn by racial discord and a challenge to the right to vote for all.



  • Michael Lind: A No-Lose Fix for the Voting Rights Act

    Michael Lind is the author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States and co-founder of the New America Foundation.By striking down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and thereby gutting the act’s Section 5, the Supreme Court has presented defenders of voting rights in America with a challenge—and a historic opportunity. The challenge is the need to avert a new wave of state and local laws restricting voting rights in the aftermath of the Court’s decision. The opportunity is the chance that Congress now has to universalize Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, to make it apply to all 50 states.



  • Gavin Wright: Voting Rights Act Brought Major Economic Benefits

    Gavin Wright is the William Robertson Coe professor of American economic history at Stanford University. He is the author of “Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South.”The Supreme Court’s rejection yesterday of a central element of the 1965 Voting Rights Act took aim at a measure that not only broke down barriers to political participation in the South but also made significant contributions to the economic wellbeing of black southerners and to the region as a whole.Some of the economic benefits were apparent almost immediately after enactment. Surveys reported more paved roads and streetlights in black residential areas, better access to city and county services, and increased black hiring in public-sector jobs, including police and fire departments.



  • Jim Sleeper: Don't Panic About the Voting Rights Ruling. Re-Strategize.

    Yes, the Supreme Court, in Shelby v. Holder, has gutted the Voting Rights Act's requirement that state and local jurisdictions with histories of racial discrimination obtain federal approval before they can alter an election-district line, move a polling place, or impose voter-registration requirements, such as photo I.D.'s.(I applaud Lani Guinier's suggestion yesterday, seconding Alabama civil-rights attorney James Blackshire, that, under the circumstances, every U. S. Attorney should deputize an assistant to litigate abuses that the Justice Department was empowered to prevent administratively until now.)



  • Minn. lawmaker apologizes for ‘Uncle Thomas’ tweet after Supreme Court voting rights ruling

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Democratic legislator from Minnesota swiftly apologized Tuesday for a tweet he sent that referred to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Thomas” following a major ruling on the nation’s landmark voting rights law.Thomas, who is black, was part of a 5-4 majority that invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act meant to deter racial discrimination in elections. The ruling makes it tougher for federal officials to prevent states and localities, primarily in the South, from adopting policies that add barriers to voting.In response, state Rep. Ryan Winkler tweeted: “#SCOTUS VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas. Marriage decision may blur Court’s backsliding.”...