After the Supreme Court said last week it would review a key part of the Voting Rights Act, experts have predicted the downfall of the 1965 civil rights law.But the VRA’s Section 5 – which requires states to clear changes to their election law with the feds – might have had a different fate if Mitt Romney had been elected, Nathaniel Persily writes for The New York Times.
The law’s opponents argue that Barack Obama’s reelection shows we don’t need the law anymore because blacks and Hispanics helped get him reelected.
But charges of voter intimidation and election-day troubles should make it clear we still need Section 5, and that fact would be more obvious if Obama had lost, Persily argues. He writes:
“[H]ad Mitt Romney been elected against the charges of minority voter suppression, the arguement for removing one of the few protections against discrimination in voting would have been a nonstarter.”
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