The Instigator
2muchswag4lyfe
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ihavenopantson
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 584 times Debate No: 52850
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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2muchswag4lyfe

Pro

As Justice Black of South Carolina stated, the VRA "distorts our constitutional structure of government," and treats states as "provinces." The way the government runs in America is based on general freedom. The federal government can choose how the nation is run, but the states have their own power of choice that the federal government cannot control. My partner and I strongly affirm the resolution-

Resolved: The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution

Federalism: A system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units
Appropriate: Suitable or proper in the circumstances.
Unconstitutional: Not allowed or not legal according to the constitution

Therefore, proving one part of section 4 unconstitutional would prove the entirety of it unconstitutional

Resolutionary Analysis: For the Aff side to win this debate, my partner and I must prove that the Supreme Court was correct in saying Section 4 of the VRA is unconstitutional. For the Neg side to win, they must prove Section 4 stands constitutionally, and also the Supreme Court made an incorrect decision. I would also like to state that this debate should be focused on the Constitutionality of Section 4, not whether or not it is needed. It should also be focused on Section 4 itself, not other sections.

Cont 1: All of the states in the nation must be treated in equal sovereignty

The Voting Rights Act allows the federal government to control state laws, but to keep Section 4 would be denying the principle of equal sovereignty. The principle of equal sovereignty was brought up in the court case of Northwest Austin. It was iterated that states retaining sovereignty was in the constitution. Furthermore, the United States is exactly what is sounds like, a union of states that must be treated the same on a federal level, as mentioned in the Coyle vs. Smith case. During a drafting of the Constitution in the 17 hundreds, James Madison wrote that all future states accepted into the nation would be treated on equal ground and acceptance as the original 13. This is being directly denied if only specific states have to uphold certain federal laws. According to the 10th Amendment, any power not directly given to the federal government is granted to the states, including the power to regulate elections. The Voting Rights Act simply denies that power, as states have to request permission from the Government to change laws about voting. The Supreme Court even deemed the Act as "strict" one year into its enactment. The Unconstitutionality of it comes from the federal government seizing a power it was not given, that being the right to regulate elections based on specific states. The 10th Amendment, as well as general equal state sovereignty are being infringed, therefore the Supreme Court decided correctly that it was unconstitutional. Not treating all states equally was one of the main reasons the Supreme Court deemed the Act unconstitutional. Equal sovereignty and treating states with equal rights is very important, and the Supreme Court has agreed with the fact the federal government cannot make state laws.

Contention 2: The Voting Rights Act is based on an outdated formula because discrimination is not prevalent

States were originally treated differently through the Voting Rights Act based on the different time period it originated in, however states can only be treated differently if there is justification or appropriateness behind it. In 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was put into effect, the nation itself was a different place, the VRA was appropriate. However beneficial the Voting Rights Act may have been at the time, it is not beneficial now. The differences between states can no longer be justified. The fundamental ideas that the Voting Rights act were based on the information collected in 1965, a time where racial discrimination was at a peak. This is clearly shown by many African american civil rights activists in the time. Now, it is coherent that there is not as much discrimination in America, as we don"t have anybody advocating rights as vigorously as people like Martin Luther King Jr. As well as this, in the time the Voting Rights Act was put into effect, Steven Pinker reported that about 50% of Caucasian Americans wanted whites and blacks to be separated. Now, that percentage is less than 5. In the 2012 election, 88% of minorities voted for Barack Obama. The VRA has worked in these areas, that is why it is not needed. Even the minority voter cap in the selected areas is lower than the rest of the nation combine. For Congress to step in and regulate elections, there needs to be important justification involved. They were able to mandate elections in the past, but as stated earlier, there is no longer a strong enough justification. As well as the Voting Rights Act being unjustified, it is also unjustified for the court system to infringe on something that should not have a control over, that being the rights of any individual state.

Contention 3: The Voting Rights Act infringes on the United State"s version of Federalism

Federalism works by supplying power to two places. In America"s case, that is the Federal Government, and the states. When combined, they provide a system of checks, balances, and separation of powers. The Federal Government controls things on the national level, while the states govern things domestically. This is in the Constitution. Specifically the Articles of Confederation. It states that states are both equal and individual. The Voting Rights Act however, goes against it. The Voting Rights Act is a federal law, but in it, it states, "no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election." That directly affects the constitutionality of the Act. There cannot be a federal law that specifies laws regarding state issues. The federal government can do things granted to it in the Constitution, but they would have to apply to the entire nation, not just chosen states. That power falls to the state itself, a primary example of this would be election regulating. This is a power not granted to the federal government, so therefore, it is something they cannot do. In the first article of the Constitution, it directly gives the states the right to regulate elections. There is no reason the federal government should control something like that. Section 4 infringed on the jurisdiction of the states, therefore the entirety of Section 4 is indeed unconstitutional.
ihavenopantson

Con

Now we are in a war. Not just a war but a great one, so great that in fact I need several days to count the war we are fighting. Now i am a man of great accomplishments, i have been to the moon and wish to stay there. I want to live my life with the moon trolls and never hesitate to move out of my own house. My favorite food is mustard, and i bid you good luck sir.
Debate Round No. 1
2muchswag4lyfe

Pro

2muchswag4lyfe forfeited this round.
ihavenopantson

Con

ihavenopantson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
2muchswag4lyfe

Pro

2muchswag4lyfe forfeited this round.
ihavenopantson

Con

ihavenopantson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 2Sense 2 years ago
2Sense
My question for you is, what if these states decide that they do want to put some barrier on voting on the premise of race? It may not be blatant, but maybe they would require that minorities go through specific processes before voting than what white people would have to, and that would be discriminatory and against what America now stands for. Would you still consider that to be acceptable?
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