What Was Wrong With the Voting Rights Act?
Posted at 3 p.m. on June 27
George Will explains why the Supreme Court was correct to find that the formula under Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act — determining which states must receive preclearance for all election-related changes — was outdated and unconstitutional.
“The Voting Rights Act (VRA) is the noblest legislation in United States history… But extraordinary laws that once were constitutional, in spite of being discordant with the nation’s constitutional architecture, can become unconstitutional when facts that made the law appropriate change. The most recent data, such as registration and voting rates, on which Section 4 is based, are from 1972.”
“Tuesday’s decision came eight months after a presidential election in which African Americans voted at a higher rate than whites. It came when in a majority of the nine states covered by the preclearance requirements, blacks are registered at a higher rate than whites. It came when Mississippi has more black elected officials — not more per capita; more — than any other state.”