Minority Message Points to Failed Governance

The majority missed the message

Good governance starts with a good message. Laws are vital. Justice is important. But both emerge from a basis formed by an informed message. Sometimes, that message is delivered by those in the minority rather than the majority. Further, that “minority” can be of many stripes: race, economic, political, religious, and others. Supreme Court Justice Kagan recently took on that minority role as the Supreme Court weighed in on an Arizona challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The majority voice, the winning decision, slipped past the message begging for good governance.

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Alexander Bolton, writing for The Hill, notes a recent minority opinion in his article, “Kagan rips colleagues in blistering 41-page voting rights dissent.”

Justice Elena Kagan ripped her conservative colleagues on the Supreme Court on Thursday in a blistering 41-page dissent, accusing them of ignoring the legislative intent of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as well as the high court’s own precedents.

Kagan stated:

Never has a statute done more to advance the nation’s highest ideals. And few laws are more vital in the current moment. Yet in the last decade, this court has treated no statute worse. … Efforts to suppress the minority vote continue” yet “no one would know this from reading the majority opinion. … In recent months, state after state has taken up or enacted legislation erecting new barriers to voting.

A message of governance has consequences

A message delivered from a source of authority, such as the Supreme Court majority decision, is persuasive. It also carries consequences. Kagan focused on those consequences, putting democratic basics and good governance in stark relief from the judgement rendered. She pointed to these consequences as being discriminatory:

The majority says as little as possible about what it means for voting to be ‘equally open’ or for voters to have an equal ‘opportunity’ to cast a ballot. It only grudgingly accepts — and then apparently forgets — that the provision applies to facially neutral laws with discriminatory consequences.

Ignoring consequences is exactly what often brings a nation to its knees. This majority rendering is not the kind of message that should be ever delivered to this nation, especially just prior to its 245th birthday. Patriotism was not exercised this time in the robes of Alioto, Gorsuch, Roberts, Thomas and Kavanaugh while the nation readied itself to step towards normalcy after the pandemic.

EVV’s message is that all votes should matter

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is all about delivering a message that points out how minority voices are ignored. Every presidential election finds minorities, again of multiple stripes, silenced while they vote for a president.

It does not matter who you vote for if you live in a state that seeks to disenfranchise you should you not vote with the plurality. For example, over 27 million ballots cast for Biden in 2020 did not make it to the Electoral College! Over 38 million Trump voters were silenced in the same way.

How’s that for an unpatriotic message? All of those millions of minority voting voices were ignored. Were you one of them? If so, your opinion didn’t matter!

Disenfranchising voters brings consequences. It sends a message. Will our democracy continue or can those in the majority be chastised in time to mend their ways? We need to make All Votes Matter!

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team