Civil Rights: Some Needed Nudges

The Supreme Court, sputtered Louisiana's Attorney General Jack Gremillion, had taken yet "another step in the total destruction of the rights of states to regulate their internal affairs." Worse, he said, that step "also will undoubtedly lead to universal suffrage."

What angered Gremillion was a ruling by the court last week that upheld the crucial provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Six Southern states—Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia—had demanded that the court declare unconstitutional the law's "triggering device," which prohibits literacy tests in blatantly discriminatory Southern states and authorizes entry of federal registrars to sign up...

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