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After SCOTUS Ruling, Congress Must Consider Revising 1965 Voting Rights Act

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In a 5-4 majority decision by Justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito, the United States Supreme Court struck down a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act setting forth which states needed advance federal approval from the Justice Department for such things as proposed election changes like voter identification. This action by the United States Supreme Court places future remedies squarely within Congressional jurisdiction.

voting-rights-actWriting for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts pointed to increased voter registration by minorities in many areas of the country with particular emphasis on the Deep South. In essence, the 1965 Voting Rights Act has statistical weighting metrics that are not up-to-date, according to Roberts.

Essentially, this new ruling by the Supreme Court places the onus on the Congress to update the 1965 Voting Rights Act by coming up with a new metric for determining which areas of the country still require special attention from the Justice Department prior to implementing any changes to election protocols or voter identification.

Some states like New York have appended voter registration forms to motor vehicle license renewal. This is an excellent idea because it facilitates voter registration. Another possibility is to link voter registration to the immigration reform package in Congress so that people can complete voter registration when they are awarded full citizenship. Generally speaking, people are required to demonstrate literacy some time prior to becoming full citizens under the current immigration law.

Congress should revisit the 1965 Voting Rights Act and provide clearer guidance on the metric which sets forth circumstances where states in the Deep South and elsewhere require prior Justice Department approval before making election changes. Until such action is taken, it will be more difficult for the Justice Department to hold individual states in the Deep South fully accountable for any contemplated changes in voter identification and election protocols.

Originally, the 1965 Voting Rights Act was put into place to prohibit or make more difficult various instrumentalities that were aimed at keeping minorities away from the polls, such things as the dreaded poll tax, subjective literacy tests, and artful redistricting schemes aimed at marginalizing the impact of minority voting.

States like New York have stumbled upon solutions to facilitating voter registration. Congress should reform immigration law to facilitate voter registration. In addition, the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act should be amended to clarify how the metric is to be applied today to states in the Deep South (and elsewhere).

Once the Congress clarifies how the metric should be applied, the Justice Department can intervene in instances where potential injustices are identified.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • Baronius

    I check in with this site every once in a while. At this point, it’s gotten to be about once a week. I know that no site lasts forever, but I really used to count on this one. I remember underestimating the impact of the housing bubble on this site, so it’s been at least 6 years for me. It’s sad to see what’s happened to it.

    It’s not the new format, although that week sort of stands out the way the Sack of Rome in 410 AD denotes the end of the Empire. The site has been declining in quality for a couple of years. Fewer interesting writers, fewer interesting commenters. Alexa graphs the decline of blogcritics here.

    Still, I hope that it’ll come back one day.

    • roger nowosielski

      Part of it, Baronius, depends on people like you. Keep on plugging along.

  • bliffle

    Maybe the original Voting Rights act was poor legislation, but the SCOTUS reaction to it is at least as bad, probably worse since we should have advanced in the intervening 40 years.

  • bliffle

    This goofy new format has the effect of diffusing attention with distracting sidebars that turn out to be dry holes, and other such frippery. But I notice that disqus is very common, so I suppose we are being standardized into standard users with standard attributes and standard buttons to be pushed. Ah! The joys of standardization.