(DeSoto County) The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case which could change 1965 Voting Rights Act and remove oversight of southern states’ voting law changes.
It could have very important implications in Mississippi, which passed a voter ID bill but cannot yet implement it until it gets approval from the U.S. Department of Justice.
DeSoto Democratic party Chairman Samuel Williams says he gets a call from the U.S. Justice Department every time there’s a voting change in Mississippi or in DeSoto County.
He says investigators want to insure politics remain fair and districts balanced so every voter has a voice.
He hopes the U.S. Supreme court leaves that provision of the Voting Rights Act, alone ”I hope that they see that they shouldn’t remove it. I don’t think that it should yet go back to the State”.
But Justices are set to hear a case that could repeal that oversight provision.
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, and parts of seven others are subject to the oversight due to their history of suppressing the rights of minority voters.
But critics say in the 21st Century, when we’ve twice elected an African-American as President, that oversight is outdated.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes on the heels of Mississippi’s passage of a voter ID law, a law that has to undergo U.S. Justice Department review, while a similar law, just up the road in Tennessee didn’t have to undergo any scrutiny.
Williams says Mississippi has come a long way, but what’s done here still needs a fresh pair of eyes ”If you’re gonna do what’s right, what’s wrong with submitting? It doesn’t cost you anything but a stamp. Right now, it’s e-mail so it doesn’t cost you anything. What is the problem"?
But even justices say they’re not totally comfortable with different rules for different states.
There's no word on exactly when the Supreme Court would take up the matter.