Roberts signaled that he thinks time has run out on the remedy that
Congress concocted in 1965 to overcome the historical pattern of
denying blacks access to the ballot box in much of the South. A central
provision of the Voting Rights Act, passed originally for five years
and repeatedly extended, requires covered jurisdictions to get approval
from Washington for any change, no matter how trivial, to its voting
As Roberts wrote in hisopinion,
“the historic accomplishments of the Voting Rights Act are undeniable. [But] things have changed in the South. Voter turnout and
registration rates now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory
evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold
office at unprecedented levels.”
Right! Everything’s fine now! A hyper-conservative justice says it’s all right, so no more thought is required!
And let’s talk about Roberts’ point in itself: Once discrimination isn’t blatant, it’s okay. Once X number of minorities are elected to X number of offices, the problem goes away. Could this be more of a textbook conservative point? “I didn’t say the N-word, so what’s the problem with some watermelon jokes?” Jesus.