Stewart Acuff

Jul 2

States Rights and Voting Rights

Yesterday in this space I wrote about the SCOTUS decision to disembowel the 1965 Voting Rights Act based on the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as states rights.

For those of us progressive Southerners of a certain autumn age, the use of the 10th Amendment by the Supreme Court is always maddening. From civil rights law to labor rights to equal opportunity to social justice of any form, including the question of slavery and human bondage, the 10th Amendment has been used by the meaner voices and meaner powers of America to reduce social justice in America to the lowest and ugliest state legislature in the country.

From South Carolina in the run-up to the Civil War and Missouri in the Dred Scott case to right-to-work-for-less labor laws in the south and west to Taft-Hartley to Jim Crow and segregation across the south to poll taxes and voter intimidation to anti-affirmative action, the worst of America has been upheld by the US Supreme Court by using the 10th Amendment and states rights.

This history continues with the Roberts’ Court’s anti-democratic, anti-American, racist decision to strike down the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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