Right to vote: “There is reason to be optimistic as well as apprehensive”

Michael Waldman has no plans to republish his 2016 book, The fight for votes, Anytime soon. But he did not expect a current president to try to steal an election.

The fight for votes From the evolution of suffrage in the United States, the draft constitution through restructuring, and the modern civil rights era to today’s partisan struggle. The revised edition, published in January, introduces readers to the infamous source of the word “The Big Lie”, explores the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic in the 2020 election, predicts the upcoming Supreme Court battle, and more.

Waldman is head of the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit law and policy institute at the New York University School of Law that works to improve democracy and the justice system by focusing on voting rights and campaign finance, among other things. He previously directed the White House Speechwriting Office under Bill Clinton, served as a member of the Presidential Commission on the U.S. Supreme Court, and wrote several books, including Second Amendment, My fellow AmericansAnd Potash speaks.

This conversation has been edited and shortened for clarity

AD: In Trump’s words, “Big lie“- False claims that the 2020 election was rigged – do you see democracy becoming an organizational factor for political parties?”

MW: Throughout American history, it has often happened that the advancement of suffrage is pushed by one side or the other and fought by one side or the other. For the first time, we have a political party with a former president who says the election was rigged and is now urging people to change the rules to make it harder to vote.

Big Lie is becoming a dynamic policy for Republicans. Most politicians know this is nonsense, but millions of voters believe falsely because their former president told them it was true. It’s scary and authoritarian and new.

Also new is what Democrats have done around voting rights and strengthening democracy. Some of these come from Trump and Big Lai’s response and some from the movement to pass federal voting rights laws.

There is an extraordinary alliance around the democracy movement. The big question for me is whether it will feel itself across the country আসলে in fact, the pro-democracy struggle that coincides with the attack on democracy. I don’t think we know the answer yet.

Eddie: Is the attack on democracy and suffrage a continuation of the historical trend?

MW: It is important not to overdo it. I am not, as the book describes, talking about the pre-suffrage period. For decades, black voters in the South have been ruthlessly and almost completely deprived of the right to vote. That’s not what we have at the moment.

Some of these laws are worse than others বেশ some of them have been relaxed because they went through the legal process, but unfortunately [are] Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and young voters are specifically targeted to impress.

Another important thing to remember is that people now – much more than in the past – understand that black men won the right to vote during the Civil War. That right was guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment, which brought democracy to the South. Then, as we know, it was snatched away because of the cowardice of the North and the terror of the KKK and other terrorist groups operating as a hand of the Democratic Party in the South.

But the emancipation did not happen immediately. By the late 1890s, the majority of Mississippi voters were black, but they were attacked. That year, Republicans tried to pass a suffrage bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives but was blocked by Senate Philipbuster, the first major member of the suffrage bill. The southern states have passed the Jim Crow Constitution, which has resulted in seven decades of suffrage and discrimination.

In other words, things can go backwards. When the federal government doesn’t do its part, things can get worse. At the moment, if Congress cannot pass the Right to Vote Act because of Philibuster, and federal courts do not protect the right to vote, states get the green light for the abuse of their people’s rights. There’s no reason to think that things can’t get too bad.

Eddie: What is the role of the Supreme Court in preventing and expanding the right to vote?

MW: One of the surprises in American history is the limited role that courts have played in protecting and expanding American democracy. Progress of the franchise has come in legislatures, ballot boxes and sometimes on the streets, but almost never in the courtroom.

In recent years, it has gotten worse: it’s not just that the Supreme Court has not been a leading force for American democracy for the past decade or so. It has ruled aggressively in a way that undermines American democracy. In 2010, the Citizens United The campaign, designed to deter wealthy individuals from dominating US politics, has overturned a century-long ruling. In 2013, the Shelby County The decision overturned the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – the country’s most effective civil rights law. In 2019 Taste In its decision, the court said, in many words, “Oh, we think partisan gerimandering is a bad thing, but we can’t do anything about it, and federal courts have been barred from even hearing cases for biased gerimandering,” and washed them away. Its hand

Eddie: What problems do you see in the upcoming Supreme Court cases?

MW: There are many reasons to think that the court will take a destructive force in the rest of the Voting Rights Act next year.

In 2013, the court overturned Section 5, or “Precaution,” of the suffrage law, which states that a state with a history of racial discrimination in voting must obtain permission from the judiciary or federal court before changing their vote. In the rules Brnovich In the lawsuit last year, the court severely weakened Section 2, making it very difficult to challenge the new Voter Suppression Act. People said that the part used to block ethnic gerimanders is still standing.

In recent months, an appeals court has blocked an ethnic gerimander in Alabama, and the Supreme Court has said it will allow the election to proceed with a map that federal judges have said is racially discriminatory.

Another problem is a French legal theory that says only the state legislature has the power to make voting rules. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

At least four judges thought it was a good idea. They point to the electoral clause in the constitution, which states that the legislature determines the time, place and procedure of elections, but Congress can ignore this and set national rules. James Madison insisted that the article be included in the constitution because he was convinced that state legislatures were corrupt and that they would do what we now call “voter suppression” or “gerimandering”.

These proponents now argue that the reason clause uses the term Legislatureদ্বারা By which the constitution means “state” – the only legislator, meaning the people in unpleasant suits under the dome, may have something to do with the election.

It is a land of constitutional contradictions, but there could soon be a big fight in front of the Supreme Court.

Eddie: Are you optimistic about that?

MW: There is reason to be optimistic as well as apprehensive. Until recently, the trend was towards improving democracy and expanding access to voting. What makes me optimistic is that people show that they care about the health of democracy. People who want to undermine American democracy know that people value it.

Over the years, most Democratic Party advisers have whispered in their clients’ ears, “Oh, nobody cares about this thing – it’s annoying.” It’s technical. It’s mysterious. ” We have learned that when you deprive the people of their right to vote or when you attack our democracy, it looks like an attack on the Capitol, people care.

What gives me hope is if it remains a central burning political issue that could help change the country.

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