Oct 9, 2015

Voting Rights Act "Regulations" Not Needed, Says Jeb Bush

Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Jeb Bush said unlike in the 1960s, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) "regulations" are not needed anymore (Rappeport and Flegenheimer, NYT).

Regulations on what? Bush didn't say, but strongly implied racism is a relic of the 1960s, no longer significant today, no matter Congress and President George W. Bush's reauthorization of critical language of the VRA in 2006.

Regulations are a strange word to use to describe guarantees to vote.

"Congress reauthorized the law in 2006 by large majorities; the vote was 390 to 33 in the House and unanimous in the Senate. President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed the bill into law, saying it was 'an example of our continued commitment to a united America where every person is valued and treated with dignity and respect,'" notes Adam Liptak (NYT) when five Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated critical sections of the VRA in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder in 2013.

Report Alan Rappeport and Matt Flegenheimer today:

Asked about the (VRA) law at a forum in Des Moines, Mr. [Jeb] Bush said he was uncomfortable placing 'regulations on top of states as though we’re living in 1960.'

'There’s been dramatic improvement in access to voting,' he said, adding, 'I don’t think there’s a role for the federal government in play in most places — there could be some — but in most places where they did have a constructive role in the ′60s.'

The 1965 Voting Rights Act was enacted "To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes."

The plain text of the Fifteenth Amendment guarantees the right to vote in the face of state obstructions (U.S. DoJ), and specifically authorizes Congress to enforce the rights of citizens to vote no matter their "race, color or previous condition of servitude."

Bush's comments signal the continuation of today's establishment Republican Party's perverse efforts at stopping as many minority citizens from voting as possible, an effort to which even Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson balked at the same event in Des Monies.

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