...
Democracy in Peril

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Introduction

Democracy in Peril

Democracy in Peril in the United States. All it took was for Republicans to gain control of the Federal Courts for Circuit Court Judges through Supreme Court Justices to re-interpret the Constitution as a political tool for creating conditions for a slow-moving fascist coup to render the United States voting public without the possibility to compete in a free and fair electoral process.

In this post, I take a look at the most recent 2-1 decision by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Ruling in the footsteps of SCOTUS decisions relying on ideology rather than the language of the law or the spirit of fair play.

This is a seismic blow to the democratic ideals upon which the United States was built. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision undermining the very essence of American freedom: the right to vote. This article passionately condemns the court’s decision. We are shedding light on the dire consequences it poses for citizens and the integrity of the nation’s electoral system.

Democracy in Peril: The Gutting of Voting Rights

The 8th Circuit decision deals a severe blow to legal challenges under Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In fact, the decision strikes at the heart of citizen empowerment. Section 2, a vital component of the act, was meticulously crafted to prohibit any voting standard, practice, or procedure that results in the denial or abridgment of the right to vote based on race, color, or language of minority group membership. By dismantling the ability of private citizens and advocacy groups to file lawsuits against discriminatory election practices, the court not only weakens a fundamental protection against voting discrimination but sets a dangerous precedent that could erode the bedrock of a fair and inclusive democracy.

Democracy in Peril: Republicans’ Manipulation of Democracy

This decision does not exist in isolation. It aligns with a troubling trend observed in recent years. Some elements within the Republican party resort to altering the rules of representative democracy to secure electoral victories. Tactics such as gerrymandering, voter purges, and the dissemination of unfounded claims about election security. Without evidence, these challenges collectively reflect a disturbing disregard for the democratic process. The 8th Circuit’s ruling is a crucial piece in the puzzle of idealogical efforts aimed at diminishing the voices of certain demographics. This act alone poses a severe threat to the democratic principles upon which the nation stands.

Undermining the Right to Sue: Democracy in Peril

By aligning with a narrow interpretation of the Voting Rights Act, the 8th Circuit effectively strips individuals of the ability to seek legal remedies under Section 2. This contradicts established legal precedent. It also places the fate of voting rights solely in the hands of government discretion. At the core of democracy lies the notion that citizens can actively participate in shaping their government. By curtailing the right to sue, the court undermines the democratic ideal. To wit, every person retains the right to vote, and every vote counts. Anything less fosters an environment where the accountability of election processes is jeopardized.

A Blow to Civil Rights Advocates: Democracy in Peril

Civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, have consistently utilized Section 2 to protect citizens’ voting rights. The court’s decision, in essence, cripples their ability to defend against discriminatory practices, leaving marginalized communities vulnerable to disenfranchisement. This decision is not merely a legal setback. Frankly, it is a stark reminder that the hard-fought gains of the civil rights movement are not immune to erosion. It calls for a renewed commitment to the principles of justice, equality, and the right to vote free from discrimination.

A Potential Disaster for Fundamental Freedoms

Should this decision stand, an administration hostile to the Voting Rights Act could easily evade enforcing Section 2. This poses a potential disaster for fundamental freedoms nationwide. The court undermines a crucial legal framework designed to protect citizens’ most sacred right—the right to vote. The erosion of these protections ushers in an era where certain populations suffer from disenfranchisement. Thereby striking at the core of what it means to live in a free and democratic society.

Democracy in Peril: Brazenness of the 8th Circuit’s Decision

Legal experts, both within and outside the courtroom, express their shock at the court’s willingness to discard decades of precedent. The decision, characterized as brazen, raises questions about the motives behind restricting private citizens from seeking justice under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. It not only marks a departure from established norms but also underscores the need for a vigilant defense of voting rights and a recommitment to the principles that underpin a fair and just democracy.

Republican Strategy Threatening Democracy

The 8th Circuit’s ruling aligns with a broader pattern where elements within the Republican party, seemingly unable to secure victories through fair competition, resort to bending the rules. This erosion of democratic principles calls into question the party’s commitment to the core tenets of representative governance. A true democracy thrives on open competition, diverse voices, and the protection of every citizen’s right to participate in the electoral process. The 8th Circuit’s decision threatens to transform democracy into a system that favors only those in power. The oligarchs rule over the rights of the people, painting a bleak picture of the future of American democracy.

Conclusion

In condemning the 8th Circuit’s assault on the Voting Rights Act, we must recognize the broader implications for democracy. As the court weakens the ability of citizens to challenge discriminatory election practices, the very essence of American freedom hangs in the balance. It is imperative to resist the erosion of voting rights and ensure that democracy remains robust, inclusive, and true to its principles. The fight for a fair and just democracy continues, requiring a collective commitment to safeguarding the rights of all citizens, regardless of their background or beliefs. The nation stands at a critical juncture, and the preservation of its democratic values demands unwavering dedication from all those who hold freedom dear.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

Leave a Reply