Until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Black people in America who wanted to vote faced impossible poll questions and literacy tests. But the Supreme Court gutted the law in 2013, allowing states to pass new voting legislation that progressives say restrict Black access to the ballot box.
The 2022 midterm elections will be the first major test of these laws — which Democrats in Congress are unlikely to be able to stop. How will this all affect Black turnout in November?
On this episode of GZERO World, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page tells Ian Bremmer that if Trump loyalists win in key states, their legislatures — not voters — may end up deciding the next US presidential race.What may happen in 2024 reminds him of 1876, when Page says the end of Reconstruction after the Civil War, along with a disputed presidential election, ushered in the Jim Crow laws that ended his ancestors' ability to vote in Alabama.
What's driving all this? For Page, part of the problem is the grievance narrative around critical race theory, which has made some Americans confused between being a Democrat and being democratic.
Still, he says you can't deny that Republicans want to make it harder to vote, while Democrats try to make it easier. That's a big problem because "we're at loggerheads over who should be allowed to vote and, and who shouldn't."
Page also compares President Biden's pledge to nominate a Black woman to fill Justice Breyer's seat on the Supreme Court to Ronald Reagan's decision to pick Sandra Day O'Connor. And as a bonus, Ian looks back at the history of Black women judges in America.
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