This month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas’s voter ID law “has a discriminatory effect” and amounted to a poll tax. But it also sent the case back to a lower-court judge asking her to meet a high standard of showing that the law was passed with an explicitly discriminatory intent. You can bet that the Texas voting case or another in North Carolina, or both, will make their way to a Supreme Court that has already gutted the Voting Rights Act once in a 2013 decision written by Roberts.
Will he do it again? And will voters in 2016 realize just how important a president’s power to name future Supreme Court justices is to the very right they will be exercising on Election Day?
It would have been lovely if Berman’s book could simply have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Instead, it is even more useful as a guide to what still needs to be done.