Category Archives: Podcasts

Linda Monk discusses the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Update)

Let’s go to school. I was confused about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Was does it do? Why was it necessary? Why was Section Five so important? Constitutional scholar Linda Monk answers all of these questions and more.

As you listen to this podcast, I would encourage you to check out some references. First, here is the Voting Rights Act. Secondly, Linda mentions a case that I had never heard of – South Carolina verses Katzenbach (more information here). You should also review the 15th amendment, which gives Congress the power to make voting fair across the US. We discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. Finally, we discuss Eric Holder’s bid to try and make sure that elections are fair for everyone.

This is a great interview and conversation. Sit back and enjoy.

Update: Linda Monk clarifies: “FYI, technically the Supreme Court did NOT decide to strike down Section 5 of the VRA; it struck down the threshold definition used in Section 4, which meant that Section 5 did not kick in.” As usual, I was kind of clueless. So, I went back to the Voting Rights Act and looked at Section 4. Of course, Linda is correct. Here’s how ScotusBlog puts it – Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.

Interview with Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos

I was privileged to host the Jeff Messer Show on Monday and Tuesday. I was extremely happy to interview Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos. Joan has been one of the featured bloggers on the Daily Kos for more than five years. We discuss what’s going on on Capitol Hill; rather, what is not going on. Filibusters, repealing ObamaCare, government shutdown and more.

Let me know what you think. Enjoy.

The Errington Thompson Show 5-17-08

This is the Errington Thompson Show. I interviewed the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald who has been in the news after revealing that the NSA was listening in (or is that databasing?) all of our calls back in 2008. Check it out.

Today’s show is full of extra special goodness. I have Glenn Greenwald as my special guest. We discuss his book, Great American Hypocrites. Interestingly, we talk about Bush, the FISA court and telecompanies helping the government listen in on our conversations. This is a great interview. I also cover President Bush’s attack on Senator Barack Obama, as well as his “sacrifice” of golf for the troops.