The man suspected of killing nine people Wednesday night at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday morning about 245 miles (395 kilometers) away in Shelby, North Carolina, law enforcement authorities said.
Dylann Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, was taken into custody without incident about 11:15 a.m. during a traffic stop, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said Thursday morning. He said local police were acting on a BOLO (be-on-the-lookout) notice that included a vehicle description, the license tag and the suspect’s name.
Roof was armed with a gun when he was arrested, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. It’s not clear if it’s the same firearm he allegedly used in the shooting. (more…)
President Obama speaks out on the subject of easy access to guns – “I have had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he said. “We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
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.
There was no South Carolina surprise. Romney took care of business and kicked butt. I don’t know if this is good or bad for the GOP. I know that it doesn’t matter to Democrats. I have heard the talking heads say that Obama would like to face Romney or Perry or whomever. I just find that funny, since President Obama hasn’t publicly said anything.
I will repeat what I said the other day. Newt isn’t a serious candidate. He is running so that his rich donor friends will continue to believe that he is a factor in Washington and will continue to write those large checks. How do you explain the fact that Newt hasn’t come out with a major campaign theme yet? Nothing. He won in South Carolina with a direct attack on Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Because of criticism, he decided to back away from the only theme that has resonated with voters? Since when has Newt backed down from criticism? He isn’t serious about winning the nomination.
Update: If you can stomach it, here is a few moments of Mitt Romney’s speech in Florida.