U.S. Supreme Court building.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down the current enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is one that is likely to stand without an answer from Congress for the foreseeable future.

In Mississippi, it means that changes in election law or election procedures as simple as moving a polling place just got easier and less costly. But it also guarantees that as black minorities in majority-white counties lose the protection of Section 5, so do white minorities in majority-black counties.

In places with a record of black-majority discrimination against white voters like Noxubee County, white minorities will miss the status quo in Section 5 as much as the black minorities will in some of the high white population hill counties. But the notion that Congress will fix Section 5 is almost laughable.

Congressional gridlock virtually guarantees no action. The inability of Congress to deal with relatively routine budget issues and to reach compromise on issues like immigration, the future of Social Security and other pressing matters of the public’s business makes the prospects for rewriting Section 5 as a truly national safeguard against voter discrimination is highly unlikely.

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