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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.

By | 2013-08-10T22:39:24+00:00 August 9th, 2013|Civil Rights, Podcasts|1 Comment

Special Edition of the Errington Thompson Show with Linda Monk, constitutional scholar

This is a great wide-ranging interview with constitutional scholar Linda Monk. I’ll have more to say about this interview a little later. Enjoy!

By | 2012-05-07T14:57:42+00:00 July 20th, 2009|Podcasts|Comments Off on Special Edition of the Errington Thompson Show with Linda Monk, constitutional scholar

The Words We Live by – Linda Monk

Linda Monk

I was wandering through Barnes and Nobles about a years or so ago.  I saw this book.  I’m not one who just picks up books and buys them but this book was different.  It was the Constitution.  I have read the constitution.  It is rather dry.  It is somewhat difficult to understand.  I can tell you that there are several passages that I wasn’t really that clear on the framers meant.  On the other hand, there are several passages that I thought were crystal clear.

In comes The Words We Live by: your annotated guide to the ConstitutionMs. Monk breaks the constitution down by its parts.  She brings the Constitution alive by discussing passages that have been fought over for years.  She shows us why Congress has this power and why the president doesn’t have that power.

I highly recommend this book.

By | 2007-08-11T00:40:06+00:00 August 11th, 2007|Books|Comments Off on The Words We Live by – Linda Monk