Monday, 6 August 2018

public law 89-110

On this day in 1965, during the height of the civil rights movement President Lyndon B Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, drafted and subsequently amended on five occasions to expand its protection to enforce the spirit of the fourteenth (abused as it was) and fifteenth amendments to the US constitution.
The previous summer saw LBJ sign legislation that outlawed discrimination of protected classes (then race, colour, sex or national origin) in employment practises and public accommodations, nullifying local laws to the contrary. Juxtaposed to current efforts to add a citizenship question to the US census, travel bans, purging inactive voters from rolls and shameless gerrymandering, scholars and lawmakers consider the VRA one of the most effective pieces of legislation ever passed. Among the provisions included in the Act requires that jurisdictions privilege no language over another nor impose literacy tests—infamously used to discriminate and disenfranchise minorities and the poor.