Just got off an informational telephone briefing from NAACP national leaders on the Shelby County vs. Holder decision. What a depressing development! What I take away from today’s decision and discussions: the struggle to defend voting rights is going to intensify at the state and local levels, since there’s no way that Congress will act, even though the Supreme Court left it wide open for them to do so. (I heard a comment this morning on NPR discussion, to the effect that the only thing Congress can agree on is naming post offices — sounds about right.)
At the state and local levels, there will be struggles over restrictive voting provisions, including:
- efforts to make it more difficult to register;
- voter ID requirements;
- making it difficult to vote through mechanisms such as fewer polling places, meaning longer distances to travel and longer lines and wait times;
- purges of voting rolls (already tried last year in Florida, and stopped through the Voting Rights Act)
All of which makes local vigilance, legislative elections and state Secretary of States’ offices more important than ever.
The NAACP theme for the national convention this year: We shall not be moved. This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers, who lived and died working for voter rights.