Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

Jeff Sessions on whether we should renew the Voting Rights Act:

Sessions said the potential for discrimination remains, but Alabama officials should be responsible for rooting it out.

"I'm not saying there wouldn't be some areas that attempts at discrimination would occur, but I'm pretty confident that the Alabama Supreme Court and the attorney general would deal with that in an effective and fair way," Sessions said.


Whooh, O.K., now let me approach this a bit more analytically. First, asking Jeff Sessions whether or not the Voting Rights Act is a good idea is like asking John Gotti whether RICO is a good idea, or asking Bill Gates whether the Sherman Antitrust Act is a good idea. This is the guy who once said he thought the Klan was fine until he found out some of them smoked pot. Sessions is a Republican whose views on race were so out of line that the Republican controlled judiciary committee rejected his nomination by a Republican president to the federal bench. His own party did not trust him to honestly apply the law. Of course he opposes the Voting Rights Act, he is the person it protects us from.

Second, forgive me if I am leary of trusting the Alabama Supreme Country Club Court to protect the voting rights of minorities. The Court is straight Republican, while most minorities are Democrats. And don't forget that the Court could soon be led by Tom "Constitution, we don't need no stinking Constitution" Parker. As for the A.G., his approach to elections does not inspire confidence either.

Bottom line, Alabama has an abysmal record on voting rights. Letting state officials protect those rights is letting the rats guard the cheese.