Voting rights decision was motivated by politics, not the law

June 28, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in the voting rights case ("Part of voting act tossed," June 26).

Instead of relying on the 74 most recent incidents reviewed by the Justice Department, the conservative majority of Republican-appointed justices ignored precedent and made a political judgment to benefit the Republican Party. They did the same thing in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United.

State-sponsored stunts to limit minority participation in elections continue to evolve. Requiring expensive documentation, redistricting plans that divide up minority neighborhoods, accepting only certain types of identification in order to register, nine-hour waits in line to cast a vote are just a few of the methods that have been employed.

If there is no longer need for Justice Department review under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, then why is it that after 50 years the jurisdictions that had been designated for special scrutiny are still unable to complete 10 years with a clean record and become exempt from the review?

Such purely political judgments only undermine the integrity of the court.

Richard L. Ottenheimer, Pikesville

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