Skip to comments.Cantor Voting Rights Act Legacy is Failure to Deliver, Democrats Say
Posted on 08/14/2014 5:16:24 AM PDT by cotton1706
Passing a new Voting Rights Act in the GOP-dominated House was never going to be easy, supporters acknowledge. But with a powerful Republican such as Eric Cantor as an ally, hope flickered for nearly a year.
Then came June 10 and the shocking primary defeat that tanked Cantors congressional career taking with it, in all likelihood, any prospect for an update of the landmark 1965 civil rights legislation that had been weakened by a 2012 Supreme Court ruling.
Even with Cantor as majority leader, said a House aide close to the VRA negotiations, I would have speculated that it was certainly a very steep climb. That it was unlikely, but there was still hope.
But with the Virginia Republican out of the mix, the aide said, it doesnt appear were going to see it this Congress.
Its a disappointing turn that has some Democrats wondering if Cantor ever deserved the benefit of a doubt on minority voting rights.
I really wanted to believe he was sincere, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus who helped draft the VRA revision, told CQ Roll Call. As I look back on it now, I probably gave him too much credit.
Ultimately, no matter what Cantor did, its what he didnt do or wasnt able to do thats bound to be his legacy on the issue.
A Glimmer of Hope
Cantor first got peoples attention on the issue in late June 2013, the same day the Supreme Court struck down the VRAs key enforcement provision: The mandate that 15 states with a history of racial discrimination at the polls had to get federal approval before changing voting rules and regulations.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.rollcall.com ...
Thanks to Cantor's defeat, the Justice Department WILL NOT get back the authority to influence elections in the south.
The voting rights resurrection act was oddly enough, not just partisan, but a Mason-Dixon division as well. That is, there were both Republicans and Democrats in northern states in favor of oppressing southern Republicans.
Perhaps it was the final, weak echo of Reconstruction.