June 25, 2013 — The Day Republicans Won the Election

November 8 will go down in history as the day on which Donald Trump won the presidency and Republicans held the Senate by fighting off Democratic challengers in several close races. A key foundation for that victory, however, was laid more than three years earlier — on June 25, 2013. On that day, the Supreme Court handed the GOP a tool that allowed it to turn back the clock to a time when racism was OK.

With its Shelby County v. Holder decision, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and opened the door to state laws whose sole aim was to ensure that voting would be as difficult as possible for minorities, who typically vote for Democrats.

The nation’s highest court decided that “preclearance,” the provision requiring the Department of Justice to sign off on changes to election laws in states with a history of discrimination, was no longer needed. They were quickly proven wrong.

Republicans, unable to change the country’s demographics, did the next best thing to remain in power: They changed who could vote by enacting a slew of state laws targeting minorities.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw the storm clouds forming on that day in June. In her dissent, she predicted that this decision would leave many voters out in the cold.  

“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet” she wrote.

To get a quick primer on voting rights, the Shelby County decision and voter suppression, please watch the short video below.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from John Roberts(HoyaLawandSociety / YouTube)

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  • David S

    Government schools brainwash for 12 years (and then many more in college as well). The mainstream media brainwashes 24/7. All of this convinces the population that government solutions are superior to free market solutions, that individual thought and ideas are dangerous, that conformity is better than being independent and different, and that everything good in the world is the result of government and its “benevolence.” By the time one votes (regardless of the color of one’s skin), the damage has already been done. Whether you can vote or are somehow “impeded” by voting regulations, most people will cast votes that benefit government, government power, government violence, government taxation, etc. and will NOT vote in their own best interests or in the interest of freedom, liberty, private property rights, etc. Again, what difference does it matter if a few are “disenfranchised” when 327,000,000 are victimized daily by the actions of the two major parties on behalf of the special interests that control both major parties? Sorry, the wrong questions are being asked, once again.

    • Jeff Clyburn

      Ah yes… the obligatory straw man creation from devout Ayn Rand cultists. … You immediately lost the moment you actually typed “what difference does it make if a few are disenfranchised…?” Strong whiff of Trump apology at play here. … The false equivalency cons try to pass off isn’t fooling anyone. There is a striking difference in policy between the two parties – especially on matters of the environment, the most important issue of our time. Pretending they are one and the same is patently false. Degree and tendency matter (for example: Deaths from Benghazi fraud vs. deaths from Iraq WMD fraud), and we are keeping score. … Trump’s appointments thus far show he is absolutely more of the same conservative de-regulatory dogma that paved the way for Wall St. banks to leave us on the brink of economic disaster in 2008.

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