Few big developments have been telegraphed as thoroughly as last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling voiding Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, so it was no surprise the response from all concerned was nimble.
It took almost no time at all after the court’s ruling was published for several of the Southern states which had been held in check by the law to bound forward with plans to implement voter ID laws and maps that had been deemed discriminatory by the courts. And it took only slightly longer than that for liberal groups to begin mass fundraising appeals based on the impending outrage.
One need look no further than the Fulton County Commission map to see that the ruling could have a major impact on politics in America fairly quickly. But it isn’t so certain, in a country trending steadily toward greater demographic diversity, what the impact of the ruling will be in the long run.
The court did give the states and counties which have had to clear any voting changes with the Justice Department a new license to change the rules which were enacted to insure that minority voters weren’t discriminated against, as they historically had been before 1965. But it left in place the means for minority voters to challenge those rules, insuring gainful employment for a generation of lawyers. (Saporta Report)