The five members of the Roberts Court know much about the law but little about the world. On Tuesday, from their perch atop blissful arrogance, they struck down a law that protects the core of American democracy.
Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires states to obtain “preclearance” from the Department of Justice before changing elections laws in ways that could discriminate. Section 4 sets out the formula for who must obtain clearance. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion that the preclearance provision dates to a time of “flagrant,” “rampant” and “pervasive” racial discrimination. These days, Chief Justice Robert breezily declared, the requirement is based on “40-year-old facts having no logical relation to the present day.”
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