Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution

We aren't done rolling back Jim Crow

Rep. Keith Ellison (Fifth District of Minnesota) has introduced two bills to cut down on rampant voter suppression in the United States, suppression aimed at youth and minority voters especially, but also disproportionately affecting elder voters. Here's a short post he wrote at DailyKos to describe the legislation. Here's what they'd do:
[ ] I am introducing two bills today to curb voter suppression. The Same Day Registration Act would require states to provide for same day voter registration for a federal election. The Voter Access Protection Act would make sure election officials cannot require photo identification in order to cast a vote or register to vote.
Can the federal government do that? Why yes, yes it can. In order to ensure due process of law and the equal protection of law, guarateed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution; Section 5 of the 14th Amendment reads as follows:
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
It isn't likely to pass this Congress, but Section 5 is a potent weapon against many forms of discrimination.

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