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Supremes at play

Published June 30, 2013 4:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Supreme Court rejects key part of historic Voting Rights Act" (Tribune, June 26):

The Supreme Court's decision about the Voting Rights Act seems to rely on a two-part theory. First, when Congress fails to change an old law to fit new circumstances, enforcement of that law can become unconstitutional. Second, a revised enforcement provision can be constitutional, but only if it meets the test of fitting present conditions as the justices see them.

Any legislation may be challenged. Judicial review is normal and necessary. However, I am troubled that the Supreme Court has now given itself the power to guide legislation in advance, especially when the 15th Amendment guarantees that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color," and it explicitly gives Congress "the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The court is playing games when on one hand it tells Congress that it can legislate the enforcement of voting rights, while on the other hand it requires Congress to guess what the justices require in that legislation for it be constitutionally in tune with the times.

David Duncan

Salt Lake City