Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The New York Times gets the libertarian take on today's odious Votiong Rights Act decision:
Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor in chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. He filed an amicus brief supporting Shelby County's challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Q. How would you summarize the decision in a single sentence?

A. The Supreme Court restored a measure of constitutional order by recognizing that the exceptional conditions that justified the extra-constitutional federal oversight of state election laws no longer exist, thankfully.

... Q. How will the ruling affect elections and voting? How will it affect minority turnout and representation?

A. It won't affect elections much other than that the time and money previously spent by local, state and federal officials on Section 5 compliance will now be freed up for constructive purposes....

Q. What's next for the Voting Rights Act?

A. Resources will be shifted to enforcing Section 2, which covers individual instances of racial discrimination in voting.
More from Ilya Shapiro at theCato at Liberty blog:
Of course, the Court really should've gone further, as Justice Thomas pointed out in a concurring opinion. The Court's explanation of Section 4's anachronism applies equally to Section 5. In practice, however, Congress will be hard-pressed to enact any new coverage formula because the pervasive, systemic discrimination in voting that justified such an exceptional intrusion into the normal constitutional order is now gone.

And that's a good thing. Today's ruling underlines, belatedly, that Jim Crow is dead.
So, to sum up the libertarian position: there's no racism anymore, eviscerating the VRA "restored a measure of constitutional order," no one is going to lose any voting rights, enforcement of the VRA cost too darn much, and now all that money will be spent rooting out real voting injustices, -- which, it should be noted, don't actually exist, or, y'know, not really. Oh, and yay Clarence Thomas.

Hemp! Hemp! Hemp!


Victor said...

Saying "I'm a Libertarian," sounds better, and is shorter, than saying, "I'm a selfish and greedy fucking nitwit, who's doing ok, so why the fuck should I care about how anyone else is doing? I got mine, for me and mine. So, FUCK YOU, YOU GO GET YOUR OWN, FOR YOU AND YOURS!!!"

A question for you Libertarian "Morans:"
If we really were in a "Post Racial" American, then why do racial wedge issues still work?

And why are older white people (mostly males) trying so hard to suppress the votes of young people, women, and minorities?

Oh, and thanks, Judge Thomas!
I guess you and yours got yours!

And now you feel fine in joining the white people - who hate everything about you and your fucking black guts, except for the fact that you're willing to help them - by pulling up the ladder that even went to the first and second floors, after you and your are in the penthouse.

I wish I was a believer, because then I could imagine a special place in Hell for human Judas goats like you to end up.

Kathy said...

Ah, yes, the "there are only a few instances of individuals discriminating against voters of color, and we can root those out" argument. As if there weren't racism built into every structure of society. Why are so many young black men incarcerated, and in many cases losing their voting rights for life? I don't believe it's because they behave worse than young white men. So what could the explanation be? Hmmm?

BH said...

Jim Crow has been declared officially dead several times before, starting in 1876 when the First Reconstruction was sold out by the GOP so as to keep the Presidency. Now the Second Reconstruction, like its predecessor, has been prematurely gutted. And Jim Crow lives on, don't kid yourself. He's protean like a virus; sometimes he resembles Jeff Sessions, sometimes Joe Arpaio, sometimes even Clarence Thomas. Sometimes he's in a pointed hood; sometimes in a tricorner hat; sometimes in some uniform, sometimes in judicial black.

I gloomily imagine, somewhere in the eternal present of history, two southerners named Martin and Lyndon reading the news, looking at each other, shaking their heads sadly & walking off into the distance.

And yes indeed, any self-described libertarian who applauds this disaster can kiss my butt.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the idea of keeping a gun so you can be ready to join and train for a citizen militia -- totally not anachronistic at all.

Philo Vaihinger said...


Anonymous said...

Extra-constitutional? Did I miss something, didn't the 15th Amendment actually pass and get added to the Constitution? Or perhaps we just stop counting after the first ten or eleven amendments.

AndrewSshi said...

Victor, "I'm a libertarian" is actually just, "Well, actually I'm a Republican but the word 'Republican' is redolent of un-hip, middle-aged white guys with Brylcreem, so I'm calling myself a libertarian."

Unknown said...

"The Supreme Court restored a measure of constitutional order by recognizing that the exceptional conditions that justified the extra-constitutional federal oversight of state election laws no longer exist, thankfully."

I was gobsmacked when I first read this yesterday. Today, even more so.

I suppose, if I wanted to give out an Intellectual Participation Trophy, I could grant that an argument could have been made that sections 4 and 5 of the VRA were unconstitutional. And obviously an argument (the one made by people who understand, and like, what America is all about) could be made that they were constitutional.

What couldn't be made, I thought yesterday, was that sections 4 and 5 were unconstitutional but that was OK. What an incredibly stupid thing to think, and an incredibly dangerous one that opens the floodgates to all sorts of problems.*

But it occurred to me today that that's what the majority basically said, isn't it?

* (Right off the top of my head, the doctrine of "It's unconstitutional but thanks to circumstances it's OK" is a perfect way to dismantle the security state when a Democrat is president and reinstall it when a Republican takes office.)