“I didn’t want to be right,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says about her prediction that striking a key prong of the Voting Rights Act will lead to a wave of minority voter suppression, “but sadly I am.” In an interview with the Associated Press’ Mark Sherman, Ginsburg reiterated one of the core points of her dissent from the five Republican justices’ voting rights decision — “The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn’t make any sense to me,” Ginsburg said. “And one really could have predicted what was going to happen” once the law was struck down.
What has happened is a rush of voter suppression laws in states once subject to federal supervision under the provision gutted by Ginsburg’s Republican colleagues. Just two hours after the decision was announced, Texas’ attorney general announced that a common voter suppression law would take effect in Texas — and several other states are right behind Texas. In Arizona, Republicans want to redraw district lines to make them less “competitive,” now that federal supervision of the state’s redistricting has lifted. North Carolina Republicans are on the verge of enacting the worst voter suppression law in the country.
In her dissent, Ginsburg warned that “the evolution of voting discrimination into more subtle second-generation barriers is powerful evidence that a remedy as effective as preclearance remains vital to protect minority voting rights and prevent backsliding.” One month later, it’s already clear that Ginsburg was right.