Congressional wording leaves Supreme Court no choice on 1965 law
The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments this week concerning the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
There is no doubt that the law is unconstitutional.
The law is unconstitutional for at least two fundamental reasons.
First, it is a federal law, but it does not universally cover all the territory governed by the federal
government. It specifically applies to only seven states and a few smaller, isolated jurisdictions.
This singling out of specific geography makes the law unconstitutional on its face. Federal laws, according to any reasonable interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, must be universal, covering all U.S. citizens equally.
This constitutional problem could be solved
quickly by Congress and the President simply by amending the law to cover all 50 states and U.S. territories equally.
Second, the law singles out a specific class of citizen and holds their rights above the rights of other citizens.
According to the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “... All men are created equal ...” The U.S. Constitution goes much further to insure this.
Again, this constitutional problem could be solved easily by Congress and the President easily by amending the law to cover all U.S. citizens equally.
Until and unless Congress and the President see fit to bring the law into compliance with the
standards of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court has no legal choice other than to declare the law unconstitutional in its present form.