In the last few days, we’ve seen a Federal Judge uphold the highly restrictive Voter ID laws in North Carolina and the Supreme Court let stand (for now) the restrictive Texas laws that were implemented the day after the Supreme Court gutted the Voter Rights Act of 1965.
I’m in the process of writing a book on-line about “The History of American (White) Exceptionalism” and what I learned that I didn’t know before was that the courts and most importantly the Supreme Court, has always done its best to protect white privilege at the expense of minorities. Congress passed a Civil Rights Act in 1866 which the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional. Another Civil Rights Act in 1871, again gutted by the Supreme Court. The Civil Rights Act of 1875… partially unconstitutional according to the Supreme Court. During 100 years of Jim Crow, the Supreme Court said nothing. They tempered Brown vs. the Board of Education with requiring implementation, “at all deliberate speed”. Meaning states could take as long as they want, which most of them did. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had no enforcement teeth but did provide the framework for the Voter Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Supreme Court gutted the preventative portions of the 1965 Act and instead will wait until several elections are influenced by restrictive laws and perhaps then take a second look. The Supreme Court has never met a Civil Rights Act it didn’t ultimately weaken or reject.
The Supreme Court gave us Citizens United allowing unlimited anonymous corporate donations to influence our elections. Reworded, white businessmen will be able to influence elections far beyond their individual votes possibly could. Add to this redistricting and gerrymandering designed to give white people greater representation and control of state government and we have a mechanism for the white power structure to continue to reign long past its demographic decline would suggest.
It’s clear that the Supreme Court does not protect the interests of all Americans. Until its membership reflects the citizenry it will continue to mainly serve those that placed them there. The Court’s reliance on precedent gives them liberty to continue to do what they have always done which is to serve white people, with corporations and the rich at the top of the hierarchy. It’s time to consider televised proceedings, term and/or age limits and a selection process where approval is not dependent on the almost all-white Senate.