If we step back to look at the struggles to guarantee the right to vote and to hold the police accountable for engaging in brutal conduct and trampling on constitutional rights, is there a common thread that links the two together? Tragically, there is. In both areas, the Supreme Court has decimated landmark federal civil rights legislation designed to protect constitutional rights, end racial injustices, and check state abuse of power.
The end of the last Supreme Court term provided a glaring reminder of this when the Court took another step to dismantle the Voting Rights Act. It was just the latest example of a recurring phenomenon: a Court dominated by conservative justices who regularly tout their textualist bona fides while repeatedly gutting legislation enacted by Congress to ensure that states respect the Constitution’s bedrock guarantees of liberty, equality, and democracy.