The Short Life and Early Death of Voting Rights

The Short Life and Early Death of Voting Rights

By WNYC Studios

Notes from America

Monday, 12 July

Birth, August 1965. Death, July 2021. So now what for multiracial democracy?

Mark Joseph Stern, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate, explains how the Roberts Court has rewritten the Voting Rights Act to render it a dead letter law. We explore what, if anything, can be done to revive it.

And Kai talks with Vann Newkirk II, a senior editor at The Atlantic, about a recent essay in which he tracks the legacy and impact of the Voting Rights Act alongside his family’s history in Mississippi. Influenced by his mother’s tenacity in exercising her right to vote, he reflects on her dedication to this civic duty and imagines how to preserve that access for the sake of a real democracy.

Companion listening for this episode:

A Zombie Political Party (Oct 19, 2020)

The Republican Party seems more interested in protecting minority rule, than winning elections. Kai talks with Charlie Sykes, founder and editor of The Bulwark, about his own journey away from the GOP, and the party’s journey away from democracy.

They’ve Never Wanted You to Vote (Oct 26, 2020)

From poll taxes to the canard of “voter fraud,” it’s always been a struggle to cast a ballot in America. We review the record, and investigate the anti-democracy enablers of 2020. 

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