Think Progress: After Casting Key Fifth Vote For Bush, Justice O’Connor Now Regrets Bush v. Gore

-By Ian Millhiser

April 29, 2013- Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the conservative retired justice who provided the fifth vote to install George W. Bush as president, is now having second thoughts about that decision:

Looking back, O’Connor said, she isn’t sure the high court should have taken [Bush v. Gore].

“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”

The case, she said, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”

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Think Progress: AG Holder: ‘We Will Not Sit By’ While Republicans Rig The Electoral College

-By Ian Millhiser

April 5, 2013- Attorney General Eric Holder has a solid record on voting rights, and he’s criticized Republican state lawmaker’s efforts to restrict the franchise in the past — at one point comparing voter ID laws to an unconstitutional poll tax. At a speech in New York yesterday, Holder added a new line to his previous attacks on voter suppression, suggesting that DOJ will respond with legal action if any Republican state lawmakers move forward with their proposals to rig the Electoral College:

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Washington University St. Louis: Voter ID laws posed big hurdle for minority youth in 2012 elections, study confirms

March 14, 2013- At polling places across America in November 2012, Latinos and African Americans under age 30 were disproportionately asked for identification, even in states that do not have voter ID laws, according to a post-election analysis by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.

“Our study shows that voter ID laws have disproportionately severe consequences for youth of color,” says co-author Jon C. Rogowski, PhD, assistant professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

“Whether the biases are conscious or unconscious, the result of these laws is that people of color are effectively being disenfranchised. Our nation has an obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to the voting booth.”

The study, released this week by the Black Youth Project, is co-authored by Cathy Cohen, PhD, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

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Business Insider: The Supreme Court Is On The Verge Of Making An Unprecedented Power Grab

-By Erin Fuchs

March 7, 2013- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was torn to shreds in the media for calling the Voting Rights Act a "racial entitlement" during heated arguments last week.

But that was just part of the "ugliness that erupted from the bench" when the high court heard a challenge to Section 5 of that 1965 law, Linda Greenhouse writes in The New York Times.

Section 5 requires part or all of 16 states (mostly in the South) to get permission from the U.S. before changing their election laws, as a way to make sure minorities aren't disenfranchised.

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Talking Points Memo: Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is A ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’

-By Sahil Kapur

February 27, 2013- In expressing his deep skepticism Wednesday for the constitutionality of a centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act, Justice Antonin Scalia questioned the motivations of Congress for repeatedly reauthorizing it since it was initially passed in 1965.

“I don’t think there is anything to be gained by any Senator to vote against continuation of this act,” Scalia said during oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder. “They are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act. Even the name of it is wonderful — the Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?”

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