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June 12, 2009


John Guest

As a non-lawyer, but someone who reads and appreciates the wisdom of our constitution, and who has seen most of this great land, I do not see how the Federal government can pass laws that only apply to a few specific states. I never have.

As a Southerner traveling across this country, I have experienced discrimination in Massachusetts and in New York and in California that is equal to anything I have experienced in the last 20 years in the South.

In fact, the Justice Department as acted in recent a decision to threaten the validity of votes in Georgia by blocking the state from requiring proof of citizenship for those registering to vote. This was done through the Voting Rights Act's power. We do not need to hand over our cherished right to vote in elections to non-citizens.

Jack Schmidt

In order for VRA to still be constitutional, it has to have been reauthorized by Congress. It was.


I don't see what the blood of martyrs or the VRA's supposedly world-historical importance have to do with anything. No one's contesting that it wasn't, at one time, a vital and eminently constitutional statute. But in order for the VRA to still be constitutional, there has to be a certain quantum of intentionally, I repeat, intentionally discriminatory acts that justifies Section 5, a statute that doesn't discriminate between voting changes that are discriminatory and changes that just happen to be retrogressive. It's very simple. The 15th Amendment only bars intentional discrimination, not the incidental relocation of polling places or switching from a districting plan with 20 majority-black districts to 19. In order for Section 5, which does bar these things, to be constitutional, there must be enough intentional discrimination that Congress can reasonably claim it's justified in using a disparate impact rule. Otherwise, it's beyond their enforcement power. And in the record Congress made, there just isn't much evidence of intentional discrimination.

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