Oppose the "Right to Vote Amendment"

| | Comments (0)

In response to the Supreme Court's decision today to strike down an unjust law -- a law which said that people are punished for election discrimination done 50 years ago by other people -- Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) announced the "Right to Vote Amendment." You may be thinking, "don't I already have the right to vote?" Yes, you do. But it is arguable that the right is not explicit in the Constitution (I'll save that discussion for another time). Therefore, the first section of the amendment:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

Seems straightforward enough. As does the second, and last, section:

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

I was all set to support this amendment -- I agree everyone has the right to vote, I don't mind it being made more explicit, and I like the idea of amending the Constitution more often -- until it struck me: why put this amendment out now? Saying every adult has the right to vote doesn't have any bearing on the recent Supreme Court decision. It's assumed in the decision that everyone has the right to vote. The first section has no relevance to the decision.

It's the second section that matters. What the proponents of the amendment will do is use this second section to argue that any law the Congress comes up with, including one that enforces perpetual discrimination against Southern states, is valid so long as its goal is to enforce the fundamental right to vote.

I don't think it would actually change the Supreme Court's decision, had this amendment already been law. But I dislike the attempt.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on June 25, 2013 2:04 PM.

Friday Lunch Break was the previous entry in this site.

On Gay Marriage is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.