by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
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.
Well, some of them did.
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. …
… The other case decided and ignorantly decried by some commentators was Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, in which Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for a majority that believed a California law requiring that charities and other advocacy organizations disclose their donors violated the First Amendment.
According to Roberts, “the deterrent effect” of the requirement on donors “is real and pervasive,” and thus constitutes an infringement on their free-speech rights. This expansion of free speech rights was met by much gnashing of teeth by the very-online left-wing commentariat.