A black conservative organization is asking the Supreme Court to
review the controversial Voting Rights Act, which it believes is
outdated and unfair to a number of states.
In a recent legal brief, the Project 21 - a project of The National
Leadership Network of Black Conservatives - asks the Supreme Court
to accept a case regarding the constitutionality of a portion of
the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that treats modern-day state and
local government decisions as if they were made by the Dixiecrats
of long ago. Specifically, the black conservative group says the
Section 5 "preclearance" standard is now being enforced in Shelby
County, Alabama, "as if George Wallace is still governor."
David Almasi is a spokesman for Project 21.
"The Voting Rights Act was
passed in 1965 at a time when there was segregation, when there was
open discrimination, and [when] there was hostility towards
minorities voting," he notes. "Unfortunately every time the act
comes up for renewal, no one wants to touch it because they're
afraid the race card is going to be played against them."
In 2006, during the Bush administration, Congress reauthorized
the Voting Rights Act until 2031. But Almasi says the Obama
administration has taken advantage of Section 5 to prevent states
like Texas and South Carolina from passing voter ID laws.
"The Justice Department will use preclearance standards as a
weapon to stop voter ID to stop commonsense voter protections," he
Almasi says because the Voting Rights Act has become
politicized, it is up to the Supreme Court to rectify the
legislative branch's "lack of leadership." The case Project 21 is
asking the high court to consider is Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric
H. Holder, Jr.
At the time of its passage, the Voting Rights Act was considered
an "extreme temporary measure."