Visitors outside the Supreme Court building in 2015. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Welcome back to “Forgotten Fact-Checks,” a weekly column produced by National Review’s News Desk. This week, we highlight some of the hysterical reactions to recent Supreme Court rulings, the non-existent Republican war on birth control, and more media misses.
Lazy Legal Analysis
The Supreme Court handed down the final rulings of its term last week, with both of them breaking down along ideological lines; the six Republican-appointed justices residing in the majority, their three Democratic counterparts dissenting. Naturally, those entrusted with interpreting the legal jargon of these judicial opinions for the general public saw this for the responsibility it is.
Others, such as The Nation’s Elie Mystal, used their platform to deceive and divide. In a guest appearance on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show, Mystal asserted that Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee amounted to saying “as long as you don’t say the N-word when you are taking away people’s votes, it is fine.”
Reid mischaracterized Alito as having constructed a theory that would allow for the reinstatement of literacy tests.
Instead of laying the groundwork for a new Jim Crow, though, Alito articulated a number of factors that should be evaluated when determining whether a law is in violation of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. He and the rest of the majority favor a totality-of-the-circumstances test that balances state interests in election integrity with ensuring equal opportunity to the right to vote, as opposed to the single-minded disparate-impact approach advocated by Justice Elena Kagan and the liberal bloc.
Under Alito’s framework, the Court ruled that an Arizona election law — which requires that voters cast their ballot at the correct precinct and banned ballot harvesting by partisan groups — passes muster.
Is it the desired result of progressives who view even the smallest of asks at the ballot box as voter suppression? No, but it’s also not a nefarious or unreasonable burden for citizens of all colors and creeds.
The other case decided and ignorantly
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