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The Wages of Shelby County


It’s not exactly news that Shelby County v. Holder not only did not have “legal reasoning” in any meaningful sense but was based on absurd empirical assumptions. But it’s still worth pointing out:

Using data released by the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in June, a new Brennan Center analysis has found that between 2016 and 2018, counties with a history of voter discrimination have continued purging people from the rolls at much higher rates than other counties.

This phenomenon began after the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, a decision that severely weakened the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Brennan Center first identified this troubling voter purge trend in a major report released in July 2018.

The holding in Shelby County was that it was literally irrational for Congress to conclude that jurisdictions with a history of vote suppression were more likely to discriminate going forward. As the late Robert Cover once said about Warren Burger, there is no possible reason to have the slightest interest in what any of the five ridiculous hacks responsible for this atrocity have to say about the Constitution except that they have the power of life and death over people.

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