A number of liberal news organizations openly expressed their disappointment with the court’s ruling while continuing to claim Arizona’s rules amounted to “voting restrictions” and dismantled the Voting Rights Act, despite the majority opinion rejecting the claim that the rules made it harder to vote.
“[N]either Arizona’s out-of-precinct rule nor its ballot-collection law violates §2 of the VRA,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s majority opinion. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Only Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Although the court used precise language in its decision to say that Arizona was not restricting the ability of its citizens to vote, the media was quick to continue using terms intended to paint the rules as discriminatory, restrictive, and even racist.
“The Supreme Court ended its term today with a major decision on voting rights. The justices upheld voting restrictions in Arizona, and their decision could have a profound effect in a number of states,” CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell said in her Thursday evening report before CBS reporter Jan Crawford highlighted criticisms of the court’s decision.
Far-left MSNBC host Chris Hayes suggested the court’s decision was about race when he claimed the justices were “working in tandem” with the right “against America’s multiracial democracy.” Meanwhile, fellow MSNBC host Joy Reid smiled and nodded in agreement as she listened to a guest rant that Arizona’s laws were “racist” and that the justices were basically saying it was fine to take away people’s votes “as long as you don’t say the n-word.”
“The Roberts court systematically dismantles the Voting Rights Act,” The Washington Post editorial board wrote Thursday, before publishing another piece Friday likening Arizona’s rules to Jim Crow-era laws and reviving the name “Jim Crow 2.0,” a phrase used by Democrats earlier in the year to attack Georgia’s new law aimed at preventing voter fraud.
CNN focused much of its reporting on criticism around Arizona’s rules and claimed that the court’s decision would “limit the ability of minorities to challenge state laws in the future that they say are discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act.” It also predicted that more “limits” to voting would come from more states in the future.
“The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday gutted most of what remains of the landmark Voting Rights Act,” NPR reported. “Voting rights advocates are caught between a Supreme Court hostile to voting rights and a Republican party that has abandoned its one-time support for voting rights.”
Alternatively, the court’s decision was lauded by conservatives, who celebrated “rational laws that protect not only the right to vote but the accuracy of the results.”