The following is the text of the Fifteenth Amendment. (1) “The right of citizens of the United States [to vote] shall not be denied orabridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and (2) “That Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” I italicized abridged, “to reduce in scope: minimize,” because it covers situations where people can vote, but with greater difficulty, financial or otherwise. As I see it section one by itself, properly exercised, should cover it all and section two as simply a “right on guys” to Congress to encourage it to enforce the law.*
The phrase Jim Crow attests to the fact that the Constitution by itself wasn’t sufficient so in 1964 Congress did what it been empowered to do for a century and passed its own legislation. That wasn’t working either so in 1991 it designated nine states that were simultaneously violating both a Constitutional amendment and an act of Congress, for scrutiny of any proposed changes in pertinent legislation.
Things went along fairly well until this year when the Supreme Court, at the request of the states in question, ruled that this scrutiny was no longer necessary. This was proved a major miscalculation in a matter of days when these states began rewriting voting rules that would never have passed muster previously.
I see the importance of this matter as extending beyond these outlaw states to the entire nation in electing candidates for federal positions, not only to proposed revisions, but to the rules as they now stand. There is nothing more essential to representative government than the integrity of its voting system.
This deck is already stacked against citizens of lesser means. Witness the inverse relationship between wealth and time spent waiting to vote. To lose at cards with a stacked deck is to be cheated. But this game is not being played with smoke and mirrors. If we lose this one it will be to bullies doing what bullies do best.
*I suspect there are Republican legal “scholars” who would claim it meant that further Congressional approval was required. But then Republicans are known to be a bit contrary.