Controversial Supreme Court Ruling May Impact Biden in November

Joe Biden (Credits: CNN)

A recent Supreme Court ruling could greatly impact the upcoming presidential election, but it’s not directly related to former President Donald Trump.

The Brennan Center for Justice found that since a 2013 court decision, the gap in voter turnout between White and non-white citizens has been getting wider. This decision, known as Shelby County v. Holder, weakened the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a key protection against racial discrimination in voting.

The ruling eliminated the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination in voting get federal approval for any changes to their voting laws.

President Biden criticizes Supreme Court affirmative action (Credits: CNBC)

Chief Justice John Roberts argued that the country had moved forward enough that these measures were no longer needed. However, the data since then has shown otherwise, with the gap in turnout between different racial groups increasing, especially in areas previously covered by the VRA.

The Brennan Center’s study questioned the Court’s decision, saying that the smaller gap in turnout seen in 2012 was because of President Obama’s candidacy, not because things had changed. Critics of the decision predicted it would lead to more voting restrictions, especially in Southern states controlled by the GOP.

And they were right—several states quickly passed stricter voter ID laws after the ruling. This could have a big impact on future elections, especially in battleground states like Georgia and North Carolina, where there are many non-White voters.

Lawrence Goldstone, author of “Imperfect Union,” thinks reducing turnout, especially in closely contested states, could change the election outcome.

Bystanders (Credits: CNN)

Goldstone says that the conservative majority on the Court ignored evidence of ongoing discrimination, showing that politics influence their approach to the law. While some people argued that the decision was about treating everyone equally, others see it as a step backward that undoes years of progress on voting rights.

The Voting Rights Act was a big deal—it emerged from the civil rights movement and helped strengthen democracy in the United States. But recent efforts to restrict voting rights suggest we’re moving in the wrong direction.

The legacy of the Shelby decision could damage the Court’s reputation and make people question whether it’s committed to protecting the rights of everyone, no matter their race.