The U.S. Supreme Court failed this week to undo a law that has long outlived its usefulness. The court declined Monday to throw out the 1960s era Voting Rights Act which gives the federal government the power to oversee and control elections in 16 states, mostly in the South.
At the time it was first passed, the law was needed to thwart actions by some local government officials that prevented black citizens from voting.
Today, there is no need for the federal government to control the details of local elections. In fact, the law was set to expire several times over the years, but has been reauthorized by Congress each time.
While the law certainly hasn’t done away with all racial discrimination, it long ago accomplished its purpose. As many have pointed out, one only needs to reference last year’s presidential election to see how far this nation has come since the 1960s.
The Supreme Court had the chance to correct this situation, but didn’t. Instead, the court created an opening where local jurisdictions can apply to “bail out” of being covered by the law.
But that’s just a judicial cop-out by the court which clearly didn’t want to tackle such a politically-charged issue this year.
Hopefully, more challenges to this law will follow and it will eventually be tossed.
The discrimination today isn’t at the polling booth; it comes from the federal government, which has not moved past its antiquated 1960s view of the South.