BoE goes for ‘more aggressive’ appeal of district voting edict

BoE Chair Marion Key

The Fayette County Board of Education has opted to use a “more aggressive” Atlanta civil rights attorney for its appeal of the ongoing federal district voting lawsuit.

The board on a 3-1 vote on April 14 approved Atlanta attorney David Walbert to be the school system’s primary representative in the appeal process. Longtime school board attorney Phil Hartley will continue his service in other school board matters.

Board members Marion Key, Bob Todd and Barry Marchman voted in favor of the motion to hire Walbert. Board member Leonard Presberg was opposed. Presberg after the vote said he did not believe Walbert had been properly vetted.

Presberg — a Democratic candidate for the newly created District 5 school board post — was also the lone vote opposed to the board’s March 14 decision to appeal the recent federal court decision to require district voting in Fayette County.

Chairman Marion Key on Tuesday said Walbert’s role as the primary attorney in the appeal is due to his experience with civil rights cases. Hartley will be available to consult in the case.

“This should have been done when we decided to appeal in March,” Key said. “Since we’re appealing, we need to do it right. Walbert has more experience in this field and he will be more aggressive.”

Walbert is with Parks, Chesin and Walbert. The firm specializes in employment and civil rights cases and commercial and business law.

A mid-February decision by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten made district voting the new law in Fayette, setting aside the long-time at-large voting format.

Under district voting, Fayette residents will no longer be able to vote for all five posts on both the board of education and the county commission. Instead, voters will be restricted to casting ballots for just one post on each group: the one corresponding with the geographic district the voter lives in.

The new map and the majority-minority 5th District are the result of a voting rights lawsuit filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and several individual county residents. The suit claimed at-large voting prevented black residents from electing the candidate of their choice.

The lawsuit specifically noted that no black candidate had ever been elected to the school board or the county commission.

The new district map and district voting process ordered by the court is being used for this year’s school board and county commission elections.

The school board is currently one member short, since Mary Kay Bacallao resigned in March to run for state school superintendent.

yada yada yada
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Presberg

Presberg is the one who was not VETTED. He was a poor choice. A black candidate did qualify to run against him as a Democrat, but the Democrat party informed him they would support Presberg and he should withdraw, which he did.

Davids mom
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yada

Presberg has been a member of the BOE for some time. He was appointed. The community has his 'record' to 'vet'l

Davids mom
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David Walbert

http://www.pcwlawfirm.com/attorneys/david-f-walbert/

Mr. Walbert practices before both state and federal courts in Georgia and elsewhere. He is admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and several federal Courts of Appeals.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/voting-rights-act-supreme-court...

Interesting:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/sec_4.php

This argument may not help the Republican Party nationally - but it may make some in the pre clearance states encouraged.

Section 2 is the VRA’s core remaining prohibition of racial discrimination in voting. It bans practices that make it more difficult for minority voters to “participate in the political process” and “elect representatives of their choice.

Note: Mr. Presberg is not 'black'. According to the president of the local NAACP, he will be the representative of the newly formed District's choice. The selection was not based on 'race' - but I'm sure Mr. Walbert will have a convincing argument that this action is 'racist'. . . and the citizens of Fayette County have been discriminated against. (If he takes the BOE's offer - and represents Fayette County in an appeal.)

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Davids mom - Presberg

We all know that if the NAACP had its way Mr. Presberg - as the incumbent - would not have been able to represent the 5th District. But hey, since there was no candidate with the correct skin tone that wanted run than Mr. Presbreg is the obvious choice.

Davids mom
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Cyclist

???? - The NAACP got its way. We all know that if Districtwide voting continued, Mr. Presberg would not be elected. The NAACP is being accused of 'racism' - and continuing to support Mr. Presberg in the position makes that accusation a 'lie'. The truth is - this is 2014 - and the Republican Party - the majority party in FC - should have seen this coming. As a taxpayer - I do not want to see the money spent on an appeal during this recovery time in FC. I hope the 4 teaching positions have not been dropped; I hope we are able to have paradors in our early grades;

I am learning about the South in 2014. The NAACP has supported 'white' and other ethnicities in other sections of the country. . .and will continue to do so. In other parts of the country, the NAACP is more involved in scholarships, poverty issues, job discrimination etc. etc., etc. However, this attempt to suppress the minority vote in the US is becoming a VRA issue. Section 2 (a representative of their choice) is pretty obvious - especially when there have been such derogatory insinuations printed about Mr. Presberg regarding his philosophy and possible religious beliefs. Yep, it looks like there may be a Democrat sitting on the BOE a little longer than planned. Oh and that cute statement by Mr, Felts - that skin color determines 'values' in FC. Geez.

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NAACP - White support?

DM, this is the first I have heard this assertion. Please provide us with a link to the cases brought by the NAACP in support of "white" voting rights.

I am against the suppression of minority voting, so it's going to get real interesting when "white" becomes the minority in America. That's coming DM.

Davids mom
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Yes PTCO - White support (Cyclist/Dude)

I did not say 'white voting rights'

Quote:

The NAACP has supported 'white' and other ethnicities in other sections of the country. . .and will continue to do so

Thank you for being against the suppression of minority voting rights. Mr. Presberg, in the United States, is considered 'white' in spite of his possible religious preference. The FC NAACP is supporting Mr. Presberg. There are 'white' supporters of the NAACP - and many corporations in the United States give generously to the NAACP, The 'voting rights' of 'whites' in this country, to my knowledge, has not been an issue. (Except if one is a white woman) There are evidently some 'whites' who still fear that what they did to others may be done to them. Be grateful, as I am, to leaders like MLK and Mandela who taught against this attitude. I'm sure that you are not predicting that the minority community will treat the 'white' community as they were treated if and when whites become a minority. I and many other members of the minority community have taught our children and grandchildren who are growing up in an integrated American society to treat others as they want to be treated. If members of the current majority community are doing the same, we may be getting closer to the American dream.

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OK, OK DM

The subject was after all voting rights, but I will give you that is not exactly what you said.

What has the NAACP done to support whites? In other sections of the country? Please give us some specifics as I have not heard of this assertion before you made it here.

As far as I know, the NAACP has nothing to do with Mr. Presberg, or does it?

My point is DM, is that whites are going to be a minority one day and they will be looking for the very protections provided for in the VRA. Who knows about the future? People in power (the majority) always want to keep it.

Davids mom
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PTCO

Are southerners really that one sided? Of course not. If one supports equal opportunity to vote, does that exclude 'whites' ?

Is the stated purpose of the NAACP seen as against 'whites''? Again, the NAACP has and will continue to support those who are for equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of their color. The NAACP will utilize it's legal department to make sure laws affecting the civil rights of American citizens of color are implemented. Is this a threat to white cituzens? Why? The Citizen published a statement by the local NAACP president regarding the organization's support of Mr. Presberg as the representative for District 5.

VRA - Sec. 2 ( representative of choice). Interesting part of the VRA. The appeal may make some. 'Whites' happy.. It would be better for the image of Fayette County if this were an appeal based on political party rather than race.. The NAACP had the legal tool to keep Mr. Presberg in office. As a Democrat, he has worked cooperatively with the Republicans to serve the educational community of Fayette County.

Do citizens of Fayette County really not know the answers to your questions? Interesting.

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whites is colored people too

Blacks are born black and die black. White folk are born pink, when they grow up they are white, when they get cold they turn blue, when they get in the sun they turn red, when they get sick they turn green, when they get old they turn grey, and when they die they turn purple.

Davids mom
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And

some whites spend a lot of time and/or money to get the color of some blacks. (Very few blacks use a tanning salon to become that unusual 'orange' color.) Humans are interesting.

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That's why Obama instituted a tax on tanning salons

It was suggested by Valerie Jarrett that this was a very subtle, under the radar way of appealing to a couple of the very small parts of his base supporters - the hate whitey group and the vote based upon the color of his skin group.

Seems as if the normal tactic of denial won't work here as there really is a tanning salon tax. Nor will there be an obvious alternative reason to offer. So changing the subject is probably the best way to respond. Or you could try something totally new - admit that I am right and parts of the Obama agenda involve racism or at least bigotry.

Davids mom
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Why tax on tanning salons?

Maybe to protect the health of Americans?

Quote:

The American Academy of Dermatology, which strongly opposed the Botax, applauded the inclusion of the tanning tax as a replacement because of the significant health risks associated with indoor tanning.

According to the Academy, indoor tanning before the age of 35 is linked to a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which has also become more common in young females. Meanwhile, nearly 30 million Americans hit the tanning beds each year and about 2.3 million of these people are teenagers.

An indoor tanning tax will therefore "serve as a signal from the federal government to young people that indoor tanning is dangerous and should be avoided," said Dr. William James, president of the academy.

In addition, because the United States currently spends about $1.8 billion on treating skin cancers each year and $300 million on melanoma alone, the tax will significantly reduce the future costs of treating skin cancers, Dr. James said

.

PTC Observer
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Taxing Behavior

The slow motion take over of the health care system in the United States and its erosion of individual freedom to choose is illustrated in this response. The United States spends money taken by force from private citizens, this money is then used as an excuse to regulate behavior "because it costs too much". So, when will old ladies cost too much to keep alive DM? Who decides?

I suppose your'e OK with the government deciding?

Davids mom
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PTCO - When?

When the 'government' can decide when those who have difficulty answering questions are incompetent and no longer productive - then ???????

Quote:

The slow motion take over of the health care system in the United States and its erosion of individual freedom to choose is illustrated in this response.

If this was the result of creative thought - it would be considered. But you just regurgitate 'stuff'.

PTC Observer
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DM - Definition

Definition of "those who have difficulty answering questions are incompetent and no longer productive "

Government regulatory employees.

It matters not, whether you consider any of my remarks as "creative thought".

brewster
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tax deductions

Maybe sunscreen, umbrellas, sun glasses and hats can be tax deductable?

Davids mom
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Brewster

Some time ago there was an attempt to take a tax deduction for 'stockings' since back in the day, women teachers had to wear them at work. Didn't fly - but trying to get deductions for items that prevent cancer may be worth a try!!

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Why Stop There?

Just Tax Florida, that's where everyone gets Sunburn! -GP

Davids mom
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GP

You've got to expand your horizons. Don't forget California and Arizona! LOL

Davids mom
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RWM

You're wrong. Have a nice day. LOL! Our friends and enemies in other parts of the planet have consistently pointed out that racism and/or bigotry has been part of the 'American Way' long before Obama was elected!!

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Nice Day for sure when the Supremes ruled on AA

That's Affirmative Action in the Michigan case. Actually it dismisses Affirmative Action as being racist, bigoted, inappropriate and not the law of the land. Certainly no "Settled Law" here like the dopes in DC call Obamacare.

Pendulum is swinging the other way after 50 years of racial pandering. Everybody is ready for a change. God knows I am. I believe this case will be cited as "settled law" when the Fayette County BOC and BOE trods up those Supreme Court steps and gets us back to at large voting. Might even attract some new business here. Gotta love the publicity.

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RWM-I agree
Quote:

Pendulum is swinging the other way after 50 years of racial pandering. Everybody is ready for a change. God knows I am. I believe this case will be cited as "settled law" when the Fayette County BOC and BOE trods up those Supreme Court steps and gets us back to at large voting. Might even attract some new business here. Gotta love the publicity.

This is kind of what I've been trying to say to those nay-sayers that don't want to appeal the NAACP's district voting case. With Shelby v Holder overturning Section 4(b) (Yes, I'm aware that the NAACP sued us on Section 2), Miller v Johnson overturning a District Voting ruling similar to what we have here, and now this Michigan case, I agree that the pendulum is swinging back. I do think hat we have a decent chance of winning this appeal.

Davids mom
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RWM

And we're ready to stop your insecure desire for return to ignorant racism. AA will not even be necessary in the future because students in many parts of our country (like Fayette County) are receiving an equal opportunity in achieving academically. It is our poor rural and urban areas that need attention - an opportunity for all American children who are disadvantaged. There should be AA for all students who have not benefitted from a good elementary and secondary education. It is holdovers like you from the Hitler-like belief in 'white' supremacy that is fading - thank heavens. And the Jesse Owens of today are achieving and contributing. The not so subtle attempt to put all black males in prison as felons because of the use of drugs - and the 'white' users in rehab are seen in reality by the younger generation - and this too will come to an end. (And the private prisons that are lining the pockets of the owners of the private prisons considered by many as 'racist') Americans are moving forward - and the skin color and gender will not trump education, character, and morals. The 'Do unto others - attitude will win! It really is too bad that because of strategies of today's Republican Party in the South - that today racist/sexist attitudes are tied to the Party. I know many, many Republicans who are supportive of their conservative philosophy and stand staunchly behind practicing the Golden Rule and helping their fellow man. 50 years ago my relatives and I received recognition as full citizens of this country. My African heritage has been in this country since before 1700 - and the struggle for equality has not been easy) You and those like you will not be able to change the results of that struggle. The Supreme Cpurt will not change the will of the people to treat one another with respect and dignity. Sotomayor's response to the decision has been well received. We need to take Affirmative Action for all children/families who are disadvantaged so that they have the tools to keep our country strong.

brewster
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AA for the poor

Giving preference to folk based not on the color of their skin but on the content of their checkbook? That sounds familiar.

Davids mom
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Disadvantaged? Heck, don't give preferences to anyone!

Checkbook? There are folks today who are without a job or a checkbook. Using cliches to justify not offering help to anyone is the not so subtle way of returning to let the disadvantaged pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Clay Risen wrote speaking of current day Southerners:

They voted by their economic preferences, not racial preferences.” Shafer says these results should give liberals hope. “If Southern politics is about class and not race,” he says, “then they can get it back.”[/quote]
Hmmmm. I guess some feel they need the 'poor population' in the South to remain 'poor'.

Quote:

The End of Southern Exceptionalism,” Richard Johnston of the University of Pennsylvania and Byron Shafer of the University of Wisconsin argue that the shift in the South from Democratic to Republican was overwhelmingly a question not of race but of economic growth. In the postwar era, they note, the South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the G.O.P. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. (This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.)

Now we look at the demographics on the current election cycle. The Republicans have lost the African American vote, the Hispanic vote, the Asian American vote, and the women 's vote.. Why? Social issues. As historians note, we in this country go the extreme way until we find out how to live without the extremes positions

brewster
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Carpetbagger rhetoric

Takes one to know one.

Davids mom
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Carpetbagger ?- yep

Overjoyed to live in a portion of the country that in the 50's created great fear in the lives of members of my family. Actually my paternal and maternal roots are in the south - as is the case of most blacks. And actually, the personal relationships that I have in Fayette County are far more diverse than those I had in California. The negative view towards those of African heritage are not prevalent in day to day life in FC . Why? Because most people deal with individuals based on kindred taste rather than race.

G35 Dude
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Sorry

I'm sorry if my tongue in cheek comment upset you. We all know that you really meant Barry White.

Heyyyyyyy, I can't get enough district voting baby!!!!

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PTC O - NAACP and white voting rights

Perhaps she meant "white" Hispanics. (eyes rolling)

Davids mom
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Tongue in cheek comments

Said with supposed sarcasm/humor will be ignored. And this I promise. (However, sometimes it indicates the lack of understanding that some have about race relations and another perspective of an issue .) So keep them coming!!
LOL!! :-)

G35 Dude
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Cy-NAACP and White voting rights.

She meant a black man in Alabama named John White. LOL

Davids mom
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Cyclist and Dude

Really?

PTC Observer
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Dude

Now that's funny.

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G Dude

Nicely done.

PTC Observer
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Cyclist - White

White is in the eye of the beholder and political party I suppose. It has come to pass that a good law has been corrupted by politics, power and money.

Surprised?

Husband and Fat...
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Vetting

Whether it's a waste of time and money or not, the only person with a law degree felt that the legal team to fight our battle wasn't properly vetted. Who is advising the BOE? The attorney that already lost?

Ya'll have to remember that lawyers have marketing people just like Coke and can sell ice to an Eskimo. If our esteemed BOE didn't vet this properly than we may have already lost.

PTC Observer
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H&F - Indeed

Indeed, you're correct, unfortunately it will be the taxpayer that pays for the sales pitch. After all the BOE has nothing to lose, except our money.

Cyclist
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Perhaps Mr. Walbert...

will do a pro bono thingy. :-)

PTC Observer
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Groan - What a waste

What a waste of public money. This racial gerrymandering has been going on for years and years, it is consistent with the Civil Rights Act. If you want to change this type of gerrymandering, you will need to change the law or repeal it.

Poorly thought out and self serving baloney by the BOE, and we're stuck with the bill.

yada yada yada
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District voting

Personally, I want all five school board members (and county commissioners)to be accountable to ALL citizens of this county. District voting takes that away from our citizens. I am proud that the School Board and County Commissioners voted to appeal this bad decision.

Husband and Fat...
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Hey Yada

It stinks. I want them to be accountable to all of us too.

However I have yet to read any reasoning on how we can win this in appeal. I hear a lot of emotional people making arguments, but nothing that has convinced me that we have a chance to overturn the verdict.

Our commission and BOE are all elected and they are hearing from their constituants to fight this, so they move ahead knowing full well it's a done deal. They will then use this in their next campaign, bragging that they listen to us. Most of us aren't privy to the information they have.

Not one of the elected have come out an shared the odds they have been given to win. Ask anyone of them if they had to pay for this out of their pocket, would they do it? If they say yes, then have them put up their house as collateral. It's a political game and you know it too.

G35 Dude
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A Waste PTCO?

Are you in favor of district voting? If so you are entitled to your opinion. But if not I have to ask, would you be in favor of this appeal if you thought it were winnable? If you answered No, then Yes I direct you to Shelby County v Holder. In June of last year Section 4 (b) (the coverage formula) of the voting rights act was found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Without a coverage formula, or until a new one is established, Section 5 of the voting rights act is invalid. If this is still the case there are grounds to overturn Judge Battens ruling.

The people that are saying that this is not a winnable appeal are drinking the NAACP kool aid. You know the same NAACP that is trying to make us think that if we try and fail that we will have to pay their legal expenses. I'm sure that some people in Shelby County complained that there leaders were wasting their money when this case was filed. The fact that the NAACP is trying so hard to scare us out of trying this tells me that they know that they can lose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County_v._Holder

Cyclist
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G Dude FYI

The NAACP's lawsuit was to seek judical remedy regarding Section 2 of the VRA.

G35 Dude
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Cy-Map

I guess I misunderstood that the coverage formula was used to determine that there were enough blacks to legally file a complaint. But I still believe that we have a chance in this appeal. In Miller v Johnson the decision of the court was:

Quote:

Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion for the Court. Ruling against the district, the Court declared the district unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, according to the interpretation in Shaw v. Reno (1993). The court noted that in some instances, "a reapportionment plan may be so highly irregular and bizarre in shape that it rationally cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to segregate voters based on race." Applying the rule laid down in Shaw v. Reno requires strict scrutiny whenever race is the "overriding, predominant force" in the redistricting process.

Have you seen the redistricted map for Fayette County?

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G Dude

Seen the map?

Of course. All of us characters on "The C" have seen it.

Did you read Judge Batten's Remedial Order? He admitted that Judicial redistricting is not ideal and that redistricting should be left to elected officials. Absent of that he had to create a district.

But hey, if you like the current map you might love its next iteration.

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G35 - Yes

I am aware of this case, but nonetheless I believe the county will lose on appeal. The reason? Alabama challenged the constitutionality of the "preclearance" provision (Section 5) of the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled in their favor striking down that provision. This case has absolutely nothing to do with the Fayette County BOE case as it doesn't involve the "coverage formula". In fact, the Supreme Court actually left Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act – the part of the law that describes how preclearance works – intact. Instead, the Court struck down Section 4, which explains which states and localities are subject to preclearance. If Congress amends Section 4, the Justice Department can start enforcing Section 5 again. However, Congress would have to treat all states equally on pre-clearance. Under the 10th Amendment, states establish all voting requirements, but they cannot be so restrictive that they discriminate based on race. Thus, the NAACP has brought suit against Fayette County seeking relief under the Voting Rights Act to allow for district voting, based on race. The court agrees with them.

Judge Batten's ruling under the current law is correct and will not be overturned, in my opinion.

Yes, I am for district voting, just not district voting based on race. The smaller a voting district, the better, as far as I am concerned.

So, Dude you're just misinformed if you think the Shelby case will change anything dealing with this case.

I will say this again, if people don't like how elections are managed based on race via the Voting Rights Act, they should ask that it be repealed. As DM would say, write your Congressman or Senator or President. Good luck.

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