Thursday, July 25, 2013

John Roberts, The Evisceration of Section 5, Cognitive Dissonance, And the Rush to the Gates

Dalhia Lithwick passionately, factually, persuasively argues that the declaration of the end of pre-clearance protections under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as no longer necessary has, with unintentional and tragic hilarity, led within hours to those very districts formerly subject to pre-clearance rushing to the gates to reenact entire gluttonous slates of new Jim Crow laws that make a mockery of Roberts' self-denying, self-satisfied declaration of the End of Racism. 

The overt cynicism of Republican circles here is sickening, if expected.  North Carolina so immediately glutted itself on a raft of voter suppression provisions that it must only have been that the Land O' Marbles was closed during voting that prevented the addition of a further poll test requirement.

I'm more interested in how Roberts deals with the cognitive dissonance here, except with a pristine, mind-narrowing embrace of the inevitable justice that leads from untrammelled state sovereignty.

Containing his pristine certainty in the face of this multi-district, proximally immediate, all-you-can-suppress buffet must make it a special effort to maintain the certainty of his wish to believe in the end of history.
The fact that days--or hours--after the decision, those very states and districts under pre-clearance rushed to storm the gates with the newest forms of Jim Crow--undeniable on both intent and outcome, as the Fourteenth Amendment requires it--must particularly wrap Roberts in a shell of ice blue denial, fighting off just the smallest bare approach of the dissonance of obvious cause-effect consequence. 

What more obvious, powerful, district-by-district demonstration is necessary to affirm that Robert was incorrect in his judgment--a judgment left, as former Justice Stevens notes, to Congress, not the Court--that the days of political racism and voter suppression can now be declared as ended. 

Rather, straight to the present--the protections of the Voting Right Act are what kept this onslaught at bay. 

As Lithwick notes, Ginsburg, in her dissent, put it best: 

"Throwing out the law’s key protection for minority voters 'is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.'

Alito, less troubled by dissonance, is more than content, with the characteristic on-bench grousing discontent of the narrow pedant, to let it rain.

Scalia is beginning to lapse into the soft neurology of age-disinhibited neuronal discontrol of Holocaust comparisons to quite fully care.

And Thomas will see it as yet another step towards his grandfather's ever-and-all encompassing approach towards towards a perfect justice as practiced during his ineffably, pervasively justiciable childhood in Pin Point, Georgia.

So: The Lochner Era of voting rights has again ushered itself onto the stage.

Apres, le deluge.