Sure, the Supreme Court has struck down a vital portion of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating the section of the law that determined which states required federal approval to change their voting laws. Sure, President Obama has said that he is “deeply disappointed” by this decision. Sure, Justice Ginsburg has a rousing dissent describing this as “hubris” on the court’s part.
But to keep functional Section 5, which allows federal supervision of changes to state-level voting laws, all we need is some mature, responsible action by Congress.
Excuse me while I go laugh hysterically for several days.
“Also, fax us some unicorn tears,” the court added. “And while you’re at it, leap over a rainbow and bring us the American dream.”
“Turn water into wine using only Al Gore’s charisma, pass comprehensive immigration reform that the whole country can get behind, and deliver us a budget resolution that doesn’t rely entirely on weird brinkmanship.”
“And hand Justice Roberts the Holy Grail, filled with sensitive, thoughtful remarks from Paula Deen. Then fix leprosy.”
Maybe I shouldn’t be so pessimistic about getting realistic, considered guidelines from Congress on a controversial issue.
Even opponents of the VRA, as The Post pointed out, cited Section 5 as “delivering the promise of political inclusion to minority voters and eventually leading to the election of the nation’s first African American president.” Even Justice Roberts seemed to think it was working, to the point of creating a handy catch-22 where, in areas that showed improvement, “the argument could always be made that it was deterrence that accounted for the good behavior” and the provision could never be repealed.
So to keep this going, Congress just needs to figure out a formula that uses current data, not data from decades ago, that dictates what states will be covered. Hey, they could do it in 1985! Why not now? What’s changed since 1985?
It’s not as though the popularity of the legislative body compares unfavorably to that of venereal disease and tooth decay. It’s not as though Congress does nothing with its time but pass weird abortion restrictions that nobody asked for and make medically incorrect statements. It’s fine. Really. They just have to act like mature adults for a brief period and figure out a sensible formula. Easy.
[Laughs hysterically for several minutes, jumps off a small cliff.]