Real Time's Bill Maher let our Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts have it for gutting the Voting Rights Act and allowing our elections to be sold to the highest bidder during his New Rules segment at the close of his show this Friday. Sadly, as Maher pointed out during the segment, the conservatives sitting on our highest court have a really bad habit of a really bad habit of promising one thing and delivering another.
MAHER: When you promise the American people that something won't happen if you change the law, and then you change the law and it does happen, you have to eat a little sh*t for it. Oh, I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about him. Twice now in three years, first with the Citizens United ruling, then with gutting the Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservatives on the Supreme Court changed the law and promised no bad would come of it, and bad came of it almost immediately.
John Roberts is kind of the legal equivalent of the guy in The Hurt Locker, except in his case, he always cuts the wrong wire and everything always blows up.
Now back in June, before they took their summer break, the Supreme Court dropped the big one. They gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which is the law that forced certain states, let's just say the ones where you might find a Piggly Wiggly, forced those states to get permission from the Justice Department before they made any changes in their voting laws.
Why? Well, because in the past, these states have been naughty and had prevented minorities from voting with little tricks, like poll taxes and literacy tests. But the conservatives on the court, all excited from being born yesterday, said racism had been cured and that laws against voter suppression were unnecessary. Relics of a bygone era, like cassette tapes, or moderate Republicans.
They said other than shopping at Barney's, there was no evidence any more that black people needed special protections. Come on! It's 2013 and they're dating Kardashians now.
During arguments for the case, Justice Roberts actually asked, with a straight face and a cocked head, “Is it the government's submission that the citizens of the South are more racist than the citizens of the North?”
Well, for example, in the last election, 66 percent of whites in Vermont voted for our black president. 10 percent of whites in Mississippi did, so maybe a tad. And the South, after all, was responsible for enslaving black people, and Jim Crow and the KKK and lynchings, and Paula Deen lived there, and I'm going to go with “Yes.”
So, what happened after the court changed the law? Within 48 hours, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia, all moved to make it harder for minorities to vote. The court was proved thunderously wrong in less time than it takes Miley Cyrus to get dressed. Same thing happened with the Citizens United ruling.
President Obama said in his 2010 state of the union speech that the Supreme Court had “opened the flood gates for special interests to spend without limits in our elections.” And Justice Alito , famously was shown mouthing the words, “Not true.” Turns out, true.
Of course, left to their own devices, the filthy rich... I'm sorry, I mean American's job creators... it turned out they did indeed sway elections with billions from god knows where. […]
Twice in the last three years, the court believed in us and twice Americans basically said, what John Belushi said in Animal House... “You f**ked up. You shouldn't have trusted us.”