Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A New Coalition
Yesterday the Supreme Court held up new voter restrictions in Arizona.
Ann: Justice Ginsburg? I thought you said the courts would save us.
Justice Ginsburg: Ann, you must learn to listen more carefully. I said then, as I continue to say now, that the Court as currently configured will defer to the states on voting procedures unless the most blatant bias is exposed.
However, when it comes to determination of the right to vote, under current law that power is vested both by constitutional statute and judicial precedent in the citizens of this country - not the state or federal legislatures which are expressly forbidden to deny or abridge such such rights. Therefore, I do not believe that even this conservative leaning Court will accede to a transfer of individual power to a legislative body.
Of course such attempts will be made to wrap these voter suppression tactics in the right of the states to control their local election systems, but if the nefarious end goal is accurately and clearly exposed, even these justices will not accede to such a transfer of power. And that line in the sand may be doubly emphasized if foreign funding is involved.
The pendulum is swinging, yes back a bit now. You are not to be concerned. This is the way in which society moves forward, backward, then correction, then forward again. The arc of history is long, and it will take time for the backward swings to complete and a correction to be issued effectively.
What brings me hope at this particular time in our our history is that more than just the targeted minorities have risen up to cry foul. Oddly enough the radical realignment of one of our political parties with the hard right may be the impetus that energizes those whose ox may not being directly gored to see that, in fact, their way of life is threatened by the destruction of the most fundamental pillar upon which our government is based, i.e., the right to vote.
(Smiling) This is real bipartisanship. Mothers from all walks of life who wept for George Floyd have opened their eyes to the ongoing murder of nameless victims by unaccountable state power. Farmers who need skilled labor for their farms are taking another look at the immigration laws. And some businessmen, not all but some, will object to the reduction of their market shares when entire segments of the population is reduced in numbers and buying power.
These unlikely allies along with vocal and organized minority movements will work to clear the system of its long held biases. Not everyone will march for justice, of course, for many see their prosperity in dominance and control however shamefully obtained. But when these new converts are added to the rolls of the already vibrant civil rights movement, even the most ardent proponents of voter suppression will find themselves on the wrong side of the elections they sought to re-engineer on their own behalf.
We are all of us on that arc of history. What matters now is how we choose to walk that journey in the present time because from our limited vantage point, the ending that we desire may not be immediately realized. Nevertheless, we are beginning to see self-interest in a wider context, and this is will bring us safely home.
July 2, 2021