In oral arguments before the Supreme Court last week, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. introduced a statistical claim that he took to imply that an important provision of the Voting Rights Act has become outmoded.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is being challenged by Shelby County, Ala., in the case before the court, requires that certain states, counties and townships with a history of racial discrimination get approval (or “pre-clearance”) from the Department of Justice before making changes to their voting laws. But Chief Justice Roberts said that Mississippi, which is covered by Section 5, has the best ratio of African-American to white turnout, while Massachusetts, which is not covered, has the worst, he said.
Chief Justice Roberts’s statistics appear to come from data compiled in 2004 by the Census Bureau, which polls Americans about their voting behavior as part of its Current Population Survey. In 2004, according to the Census Bureau’s survey, the turnout rate among white voting-aged citizens was 60.2 percent in Mississippi, while the turnout rate among African-Americans was higher, 66.8 percent. In Massachusetts, conversely, the Census Bureau reported the white turnout rate at 72.0 percent but the black turnout rate at just 46.5 percent. (New York Times)
Easy Related Posts
Meet the Unusual Plaintiffs Behind the Supreme Court Case That Could Destroy Obamacare
On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a ...read more
The Future Of Voter Suppression Is Before The Supreme Court
A petition asking the Supreme Court to consider the fate of Wisconsin’s voter ID law ...read more
For the Supreme Court, New Term Means Renewed Attacks on Civil Rights Legislation
For people who’ve watched the Roberts Court whittle away civil rights legislation over the last ...read more
Supreme Court orders cuts to early voting in Ohio
By a vote of 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered that Ohio’s controversial cuts ...read more