Iron-fisted enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act transformed American politics, especially in the South, by making sure minorities had a clear path to the ballot box and an equal shot at public service.
Forty-eight years later, after the re-election of an African-American president, the heart of that law is on trial.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Feb. 27 in a case that is sure to ignite a national debate over how far the country has progressed on racial issues and whether minority voters still need extra protection.
Shelby County, Ala., opposed by the Justice Department and civil rights groups, wants two key sections of the Voting Rights Act declared unconstitutional.
Read the whole thing here.
The mission statement of the North Shelby Library indicates it serves anyone who lives and/or works in its service area, but with the passage of the state’s new immigration law, that statement may need some tweaking.
Since Sept. 1, anyone wishing to get a library card from that repository must show proof that they are legally present in the county.
Until the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, or HB56, went into effect Sept. 1, anyone who lived in the district could get a library card simply by showing a picture identification with proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. People who work in Shelby County can bring in a paycheck stub, for example. Those who do not live in the county can pay a $30 annual fee.
All of those categories are still available but now all new patrons must present proof of legal residency as well.
Kelley said a library card is considered a contract between an individual and the library. The new law requires businesses to be certain that the individual is in the United States legally, through a valid driver license or nondriver ID card, a valid passport or an unexpired visa. A valid U.S. birth certificate will also work.
“We have to be careful,” Kelley said. “We are just going to go with the flow.”
Everyone knows that if you just go with the flow, you are going down hill.
Hat tip: Just a Mexican.