A US appeals court upheld Mississippi’s Jim Crow-era voting law, which was written to prevent black people from voting.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday voted 10-7 against the two men who filed the suit after being ousted of forgery and embezzlement convictions.
Roy Harness and Kamal Karim argued that the outdated, racist law should no longer apply.
The Court of Appeals rejected that argument, saying that “it is undeniable that the state constitutional convention was steeped in racism and ‘the state was motivated by a desire to discriminate against blacks’,” amended the law during the Civil Rights Movement. went. And so still applyCNN reported.
The law was originally written in 1890 and prevented people convicted of certain offenses from voting in the state again. Those crimes – burglary, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement and bigamy – were referred to as “black crimes” by the racist authors of the law. Burglary was removed from the list in 1950.
In 1968, the law was re-examined as part of the Civil Rights Movement. But the only major change was the inclusion of murder and rape in the list of offenses for which the franchise was denied.
However, according to CNN, the change was enough for the 5th Circuit judges. The court ruled that those changes “removed the discriminatory stigma” of the original law.
“The provision was part of a plan in 1890 to get votes from black people, who obtained it in the wake of the Civil War,” said Rob Macduff, an attorney at the Mississippi Center for Justice. Told the Mississippi Free Press, “Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal is allowing it to remain in spite of its racist origins.”
Macduff, who represented Harness and Karrim in their case, promised to appeal the matter to the US Supreme Court.