Today the Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal “from black South Carolina voters who wanted the justices to take another look at the state’s new lines for state house and congressional districts,” the Associated Press reported.
The Court had previously upheld the redrawn district lines in a decision in 2012, but those opposed to the redistricting brought the case to lower courts, hoping to have that ruling set aside after SCOTUS “struck down a key provision for the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
The lower court did not re-examine its findings that the “state’s districts are fair and don’t discriminate against racial minorities.”
The Court’s removal of those provisions from the Voting Rights Act, however, have allowed GOP-controlled states to impose harsh voting requirements, not just in the southern states once controlled by those provisions. Shortening early voting periods, requiring state-issued photo IDs but only accepting certain ones, eliminating same-day registration, etc., have disenfranchised poor and minority voters across the country.
This refusal to take South Carolina’s case is a predictable decision for the Court. Combined with the ruling on the Voting Rights Act and decisions in cases like Citizens United, SCOTUS shows it’s true, conservative nature. It consistently rules against the rights of Americans when it comes to issues regarding the voting rights and political presence of minorities.
Last week, Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio appeared on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, where he predicted these outcomes from the court. Here he says that the court will always rule against the rights of American voters,and here he predicts that they’ll throw out a few favorable opinions on social issues, like we saw with today’s decision on marriage equality.
While there’s no denying that the marriage equality stay is a huge step forward, the South Carolina redistricting decision sets the country back to the Jim Crow era of American history. And as long as we have backwards-thinking, 3rd world U.S. Supreme Court, the American people, especially minorities in the south, will always be treated like second-class citizens.