Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Weakened Voting Rights Act exploited in Beaumont

4204d832-80ce-42f2-bb86-aa8c8c195363Source: Lonestarproject

Republican activists are using US Supreme Court decision to oust duly-elected incumbents and push an anti-minority agenda.

Less than a month after the US Supreme Court struck down key federal statutes needed to enforce the US Voting Rights in the Shelby County v. Holder decision, activists in Beaumont, Texas are using the decision to stage a hostile takeover of the local Beaumont Independent School Board (BISD). The activists led by controversial and racially divisive attorney Michael D. Getz are using GOP-dominated State Courts to pull off what can fairly be described as a political coup.

Earlier this year, Getz and a group of right wing activists attempted to remove sitting African American school board members with the help of Republican judges and legal chicanery. They were turned back by a US Federal District Court who invoked provisions of Section 5 of the US Voting Rights Act to prevent the improper removal of the incumbent school board members and allow for an orderly redistricting process and a new election so that voters could decide the make-up of the school board.

However, now that the US Supreme Court has struck down enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Getz and his local activists have quickly moved to re-initiate their efforts to oust the sitting school board members WITHOUT AN ELECTION

Local citizens and the incumbent BISD board members are fighting back and have filed a brief with the US Federal District Court in Washington, DC to prevent the un-elected Anglo-favored candidates from taking over. Their brief to the US District Court can be read here.

Also, earlier, local citizens staged a rally in Beaumont in support of fair elections and enforcement of the U.S. Voting Rights Act.

As feared, the immediate fallout from the US Supreme Court decision that blocks enforcement of the Voting Rights Act is local, rather than national. Republican anti-minority forces are re-instigating divisive and discriminatory activities with the hope that no one will notice until it is too late. The efforts to oust a duly-elected school board in Beaumont, without bothering to go through the legal and democratic process of an election is an early example.


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