Politik

USA som “demokratur”, hur republikanerna rev upp Lyndon Johnsons Voting Rights Act och med den USA:s allmänna rösträtt

President Lyndon B. Johnson

I en jordskredsseger 2010 tog republikanerna oväntat kontroll över tio demokratiska delstater och började sen systematiskt inskränka rösträtten som garanterats i Lyndon Johnsons historiska Voting Rights Act från 1965, tills en republikansk minoritet i de här delstaterna idag kan behålla makten utan att officiellt avskaffa den fria rösträtten. Det här är det mest allvarliga hotet mot demokratin i USA, ett hot som har skett i det tysta men som nu uppmärksammas i New York Times.

Jim Rutenberg skriver i New York Times: A Dream Undone. Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.

Since then, however, the legal trend has abruptly reversed. In 2010, Republicans flipped control of 11 state legislatures and, raising the specter of voter fraud, began undoing much of the work of Frye and subsequent generations of state legislators. They rolled back early voting, eliminated same-day registration, disqualified ballots filed outside home precincts and created new demands for photo ID at polling places. In 2013, the Supreme Court, in the case of Shelby County v. Holder, directly countermanded the Section 5 authority of the Justice Department to dispute any of these changes in the states Section 5 covered. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, declared that the Voting Rights Act had done its job, and it was time to move on. Republican state legislators proceeded with a new round of even more restrictive voting laws.

All of these seemingly sudden changes were a result of a little-known part of the American civil rights story. It involves a largely Republican countermovement of ideologues and partisan operatives who, from the moment the Voting Rights Act became law, methodically set out to undercut or dismantle its most important requirements. The story of that decades-long battle over the iconic law’s tenets and effects has rarely been told, but in July many of its veteran warriors met in a North Carolina courthouse to argue the legality of a new state voting law that the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School has called one of the “most restrictive since the Jim Crow era.” The decision, which is expected later this year, could determine whether the civil rights movement’s signature achievement is still justified 50 years after its signing, or if the movement itself is finished.

En taktik som har skett i det tysta och som gör det sannolikt att republikanerna kommer att behålla en majoritet i kongressen och öka deras chanser att vinna Vita Huset i nästa års presidentval. Svårare än så är det inte att riva upp en demokrati.

En utveckling som bäddar för andra “demokraturer”, dvs forna demokratier som förvandlas till diktaturer bakom demokratiska kulisser.

Pressklipp:

USABloggen på Twitter

Fler inlägg om Kalifornien