The Hollow Men Triumphant
The Hollow Men Triumphant


I’m not. I wrote most of this response six months ago in the belief that SCOTUS would rule as it did.

All five of the Justices who voted to gut the act have long been opposed to it. Citing what they called an outdated formula they did the dirty deed knowing that the GOP House will not move on any formula update. Given gerrymandering we are probably stuck with this until the Census of 2020 when redistricting will take place.

 Why did they do as they did? Take your pick:

a) A sincere belief that the nation has truly and deeply changed……

b) A desire to shift voting power back into the hands of the shrinking white majorities in many of the regions covered by Section 4….

c) An unwillingness to accept Congress’ overwhelming re-endorsement of the VRA in July 2006….

d) A belief that voter inequality is something the states are entitled to address and not the federal government….

e) A fevered loyalty to a GOP that cannot win in the shifting demographics of so many of the covered areas….

Whatever the reason……Now the battle is truly on…..If you are one of those who have had your right to vote challenged, or had your right curtailed by the conditions of voting, or had the results of an election unjustly challenge, it is clear who the enemy is.

The new Civil Rights Movement? I suspect it will be a return to the old Civil Rights Movement. It will focus on voters rights.

What must be done:

A) Win back the House – or at the least come close, throwing a scare into those who occupy seats in areas that are shifting….

B) Keep control of the Senate and change its rules of operation.

C) Hold the White House.

D) Wage battles to take back State Houses and Governorships especially in states that vote Blue on the national level and looking forward to 2020.

E) Challenge in protests, in courts and in elections every effort to limit access to voting, make it harder to vote, or manipulate voting.

F) Energize every voter who is a likely target for those efforts which includes those still labeled as minorities, GLBT’s, progressives/liberals, the poor, the lower middle class…..make it clear that this is an effort to stage a coup and they must fight it.

 Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

If we accept this decision as it now stands…..we will deprive ourselves of the right to shape our own future. I, for one, will not go quietly.

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting. (Charles Bukowski)

The Supreme Court Majority today is standing by this definition. They want us to stand by the pretense that we are in a democracy but run it as a dictatorship. To hell with that and to hell with them.

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Murph, good piece and a great launching point for the mid-terms (ugh). I’ve got a lot of mixed emotions over this ruling.

1) Short-term this is of electoral benefit to the GOP. Long-term very harmful. As more strident and blatent vote-supression and gerrymandering occur in the states, every voter that gets stomped on by these tricks will be lost to the GOP for a generation at least. However, in the meantime, enough damage will be done to retain many governorships and statehouses that by all rights should return to Democratic control. Enough foul infrastructure could get built to wipe away the advantages that sheer numbers should rightly confer.

2) While the loss of section 4 (unlikely to be replaced without a completely different Congress) is a blow, it is in total a glancing one. 40 states currently have a process in which they may challenge fishy voting regs. And while it will take extra time, money, energy and litigation, preliminary injunctions under section 2 to stop these regs are relatively easy to file in district court (not state court) and quick to be heard. That said, there is no guarantee the judge will act favorably to your suit.

(However the keystone of this hypothesis is an active and effective Justice Dept. Not a sure thing from administration to administration)

3) What’s disturbing is that the court managed to strip away a law intended to help Congress enforce Amendments of the Constitution without actually saying what part of section 4 is unconstitutional. The last time the Court found agains a law designed to enforce an Amendment was 1883. This does not bode well for our “balls and strikes” Court in the future.

All of this said, there is a lesson here. Just as everyone forgot about how and why the Depression started and repealed Glass-Steagall, just as everyone forgot about what we and the Soviets went through in our last excursion in Asia, perhaps now it is Civil Right’s turn. As the John Lewises and Jesse Jacksons, lynchings and Jim Crow fade into the history books, perhaps now is the time for another hard lesson.

Maybe its one that needs to be had. Sometimes I think that’s the way most Americans learn.

This is not a contest that is subject to the Marquess of Queensberry Rule. It is a knife fight to the death in a dark alley, and they are bringing friends. The sooner everyone gets that the better. Nothing better to combat apathy that fighting for your life.


At the risk of being called kind to those people, I am inclined to think that the Justices went by reason “a)” and reason “d)”.
I doubt that they are cynical or political enough for the other reasons shown.


Well done Murph. These justices must be going on the assumption that now that we’ve elected a black man president, twice, there is automatically no racism any longer, therefore no need to protect against it. That’s the impression this decision gave me. Of course that is a bullshit assumption on the part of these justices.

Racism is still alive in America, but with all the emphasis on political correctness, racism has merely gone underground. The coded language is still in the GOP lexicon, and with some, they just outright say racist things, with no shame or apology, unless the “people” and press calls for it.


Murph, have I told you lately that I am so glad I have you on my side of the world? If I haven’t, I am! Get us up and motivated! Wake up those sleepwalkers! Me’s awake, Murph, Me’s awake!


First, people have to be, or get, registered to vote. Whatever it takes. This happens at the local level. Then, at election time, people need to vote. Both will take individual and collective effort. If that is done, that will seriously impede GOP efforts.

The voter ID? make it free and easy to get. Failure to have voter ID should not prevent anyone from voting.


Once again, Murph you lay it out in a calm cool way. I think when people truly understand the ramifications of this decision, they will react and then take action. I am just puzzled that they could take the action they did yesterday and today go to the other end of the discrimination scale. Or perhaps they think these rulings, too, will wash away all the discrimination in America? SMH


Once again SCOTUS stands up for rich puffy white guys and gives the finger to everyone else.


Very pithy and to the point assessment, Murph. Thank you!

The one thing I cannot unearth due to inattention is the previous ruling earlier this week (or maybe last) that 8-0 maintained that states may NOT override the federal guidelines on registration and voting. I know I’m not making that up – I read it. But now it’s as if it’s disappeared from the radar. This was the decision that peeved Jan Brewer and all the voter ID fanatics. So…

How the HELL can the Red Southern White Old Men states suddenly take the lack of prior oversight as license to void the earlier decision?

What the Grumpy Old Poops seem to forget is that voiding Section 4 is NOT voiding federal actions and/or jurisdictions. It means it shifts to a case by case basis, but doing something as dumb as violating a SCOTUS ruling that is still warm off the presses seems pretty blatant.

While I stand totally with you on voting, reigniting a new Voting Rights Movement, I also think we will see a major uptick in federal crackdowns against Red State actions. And I for one will welcome the laser beam being turned on Ohio et al. for their disgusting racism.

This may have opened a can of worms OK – and it may NOT be to the interests of the tottering white guys. They seem to be over-reaching right from the git go, and that could be SO FUN to watch as they get shot down.

And all the while we’re mobilizing, moving, educating, changing, and VOTING.

Wow. Brand new day.


I’m not typically the silver lining type, sometimes a crap sandwich is just a crap sandwich but I do wonder now if the same kind of backlash that Voter ID laws created, inspiring higher minority turn out, might not be the case once again due to this ruling?

As most Americans see that their highest court is protecting racist laws to prevent certain Americans from voting, maybe there will be more activism and concerted effort at turnout in 2014 and beyond.

I sure hope so, that’s the only way for Americans to thwart the agenda of the elitists.