Every year the Political Science department at Marygrove celebrates Constitution Day, a U.S. federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Yesterday, Marygrove students were lucky enough to sit in on Dr. Tal Levy’s discussion, “The Constitutional Debate Over Voter ID Laws.”
During this lecture, Dr. Levy explained that since 2011, 33 mostly Republican-controlled states have introduced laws demanding voters provide photo ID. The trend started when the Supreme Court, in the case of Shelby County v. Holder, struck down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Court argued that that this section was unconstitutional because it was not based on current demographic realities.
In effect, the Court now allows every state to pass laws (like voter ID laws) that may restrict voter participation. Many argue that voter ID laws are disenfranchising minorities because they are less likely to have valid photo IDs. They also argue that such laws contradict the Constitution’s 15th Amendment.