You’d think Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and his Alabama counterpart, Bob Riley, would be opposed to judicial activism.
But, casting aside traditional Republican thought, the two governors have joined a case before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The act requires that certain states, counties and other voting units, mostly Southern, (see map) gain federal approval of changes in voting procedures.
Forget that the Voting Rights Act has been repeatedly extended by Congress and that Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George W. Bush have all signed the measure. Perdue and Riley want the high court to legislate from the bench. They want black-robed non-elected lifetime appointees to overturn the will of the elected representatives of the people.
Who would have thunk it? Sonny Perdue and Bob Riley turn out to be pinko liberals.
Their rational for the amazing switch from judge-bashers to court-supplicants is that racism no longer exists in the South. Since there is no racism in the South, Southern states shouldn’t be forced to undergo scrutiny of voting procedures not applied to other states.
Perdue’s brief before the court, on April 29, included the factoid that the election of a black president proves that racism has been eliminated.
Chief Justice John Roberts, showing definite activist tendencies, opined that the voting rights act seemed rather like an elephant whistle. Roberts told the assembled court, rhetorically according to news reports, that he had an elephant whistle and the fact that there were no elephants around proved that his whistle worked.
The view from the flat woods is that Justice Roberts doesn’t have an elephant whistle and wouldn’t blow it if he did.