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Voting Rights Act

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OPINION
January 29, 2014
Re "Fixing the Voting Rights Act," Editorial, Jan. 24 There isn't any legislation needed. The Supreme Court's decision last year was aimed at only one section of the Voting Rights Act; the rest remains in full force. As The Times recognizes, the Justice Department and civil rights groups are now using those other provisions to try to advance their agendas. All that's different is that lawyers have to prove racial discrimination before they can get court relief, which is the way every other civil rights law works.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 28, 2014 | By Bruce Ackerman
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice," the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. assured his followers. But was he right? The arc of American history, at least, has a different shape. During the 19th century, a high point for justice was reached after the Civil War, with Reconstruction Republicans guaranteeing equal protection and voting rights for blacks in the 14th and 15th amendments. But these brave words did not prevent a tragic retreat, from the Gilded Age beginning in the 1880s through the Roaring '20s.
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OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
When the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act last year, it seemed impossible that a divided Congress would be able to agree on new legislation that would satisfy the court's concerns and restore robust enforcement of the landmark civil rights law. But a creative new proposal may confound the cynics. Last June, the court by a 5-4 vote struck down the formula used in the Voting Rights Act to determine which states and localities must "pre-clear" voting procedures with the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington.
OPINION
April 6, 2014
Re "Even more money in politics?," Editorial, April 3 As an attorney, any remaining illusion I had that our highest judicial body decides cases on a nonpartisan basis is gone after reading the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission. First, the tortured Citizens United finding in 2010 - that corporations have 1st Amendment rights similar to those of individuals - opened the floodgates for those who want to buy the government. After that, the Shelby County case gutted the Voting Rights Act, resulting in gleeful red states passing laws that prevent poor people and minorities from voting.
OPINION
December 27, 2011
Next month the Supreme Court will consider a controversy over congressional redistricting in Texas that will highlight the importance of a crucial part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act: Section 5, which requires states and localities with a history of voting discrimination to "pre-clear" changes in their election practices with the Justice Department or a federal court. In 2009 the court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Section 5, but it could return to the issue. If they are in any doubt about the continued need for it, they should read a recent speech by Atty.
OPINION
June 28, 2013
Re "Justices rein in Voting Rights Act," June 26 The decision to effectively invalidate the Voting Rights Act is the Roberts court's most hypocritical ruling. The Supreme Court's conservative justices have said that nine unelected judges should not overrule the voters' elected representatives unless the Constitution demands it. Here, the court threw out a 98-0 Senate vote in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, thousands of pages of congressional voting rights research and almost 50 years of effective legislation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
Reacting to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday urging federal leaders to pass legislation to update the act so that it protects voters from disenfranchisement and passes Constitutional muster. “We want to keep democracy vibrant and make sure all those who wish to participate and have a right to participate not be denied” the ability to vote, said board chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sponsored the motion along with Supervisor Gloria Molina.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
On Tuesday night, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert blasted the Supreme Court for its controversial ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The decision, as Oliver explained on “The Daily Show,” removed a part of the landmark Civil Rights bill that applied strict scrutiny to states with histories of discrimination against minority voters -- places like “Whitesylvania, Pale-afornia, Caucasiacut, Klansas and...
NATIONAL
July 17, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - The Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 legislation that protects against racially discriminatory voting practices, had long received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, including for the last renewal of its temporary provisions in 2006. But at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, early discussions on how to respond to the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down Section 4 of the law saw Democrats and Republicans mostly divided over the provision's utility and future.
NATIONAL
June 25, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court has struck down a key part of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, freeing the Southern states from federal oversight of their election laws and setting off a fierce reaction from civil rights advocates and Democratic leaders. The court's conservative majority moved boldly Tuesday to rein in a law revered by civil rights groups that is credited with transforming the South by ensuring blacks could register and vote. In doing so, the court eliminated a tool that the Justice Department used hundreds of times to prevent cities, counties and states from adopting allegedly discriminatory voting rules.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. recently talked with Washington Bureau Justice Department reporter Timothy M. Phelps about various aspects of his last five years in office. Second Term Agenda : What I have tried to do in this second term, after a conversation with, a memo that I shared with the president, is to really kind of put some attention on the areas that are of great interest to me and of great interest to him as well. Criminal justice reform, reformation of the voting rights act, works on financial fraud cases, I mean these are the kind of things that I've been interested in for a good amount of time but we have focused on as part of the second term agenda.
OPINION
February 6, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Debo Adegbile, President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is an experienced litigator and specialist in civil rights law. In a rational world, he would receive unanimous confirmation. But as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on his nomination, Adegbile faces opposition from conservatives who don't like his legal philosophy and a law enforcement group that won't forgive him for participating in the appeal of a man convicted of killing a police officer.
OPINION
January 29, 2014
Re "Cluing in AT&T to its own cellphone rules," Jan. 24 David Lazarus mentioned the discrepancy in information provided by different AT&T service reps. That brought to mind my recent experience with the company. I spoke with one service rep on the telephone and later chatted online with another one. Each quoted a different selection of long-distance plans and different charges for the same plans. The online rep told me that the telephone customer service people might offer different options than those online.
OPINION
January 29, 2014
Re "Who should pay union dues?," Editorial, Jan. 23 Yes, non-union employees should absolutely pay dues to unions they haven't joined but that got better wages and conditions for them. And bicyclists should be forced to pay gas taxes for something they didn't buy, since they use roads that were made for cars and paid for by these taxes. They should pay their fair share, since they didn't build that. And people who don't personally choose to own a gun but live where it's legal to have a firearm for home defense should be forced to donate to the National Rifle Assn.
OPINION
January 29, 2014
Re "Fixing the Voting Rights Act," Editorial, Jan. 24 There isn't any legislation needed. The Supreme Court's decision last year was aimed at only one section of the Voting Rights Act; the rest remains in full force. As The Times recognizes, the Justice Department and civil rights groups are now using those other provisions to try to advance their agendas. All that's different is that lawyers have to prove racial discrimination before they can get court relief, which is the way every other civil rights law works.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
A raft of recent court rulings yields encouraging, if preliminary and scattered, signs that the judiciary is getting fed up with efforts to narrow voting rights and other civil liberties and to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Some of these rulings come from judges with unassailable conservative credentials.  Here's a brief rundown.   -- Judges in Missouri and Washington, D.C., rejected attacks on the Affordable Care Act . In Missouri, Judge Ortrie D. Smith last week suspended parts of a Missouri law aimed at interfering with federal "navigators" -- people empowered under the ACA to help potential insurance customers find the best individual policies for themselves and to sign up for coverage.
NATIONAL
June 23, 2009 | David G. Savage
The historic Voting Rights Act -- the 1965 law that ended a century of racial discrimination at the ballot box and gave blacks a political voice across the South -- survived a strong challenge at the Supreme Court on Monday as justices pulled back from a widely anticipated decision to strike down a key part of the law as outdated and unfair to today's South. Instead, the justices agreed to narrow the law's impact by allowing municipalities with a clean record to seek an exemption.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2009 | Peter Wallsten and David G. Savage
The election of Barack Obama as president has been hailed as a crowning achievement of America's civil rights movement, the triumph of a black candidate in a nation with a history of slavery and segregation. But in a twist, Obama's success has emerged as a central argument from conservatives who say his victory proves that some of the nation's most protective civil rights laws can be erased from the books.
OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
When the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act last year, it seemed impossible that a divided Congress would be able to agree on new legislation that would satisfy the court's concerns and restore robust enforcement of the landmark civil rights law. But a creative new proposal may confound the cynics. Last June, the court by a 5-4 vote struck down the formula used in the Voting Rights Act to determine which states and localities must "pre-clear" voting procedures with the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington.
NEWS
January 16, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers announced Thursday bipartisan legislation that would restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act that were thrown out by the Supreme Court last summer. The bill would also establish new criteria to determine whether states need to seek federal approval for proposed changes to voting rules. The legislation is a response to the high court's ruling in June that Southern states had been unfairly singled out by the long-standing formula used to determine which states must seek federal "pre-clearance" before changing their voting laws.
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