Farewell, Justice Scalia: John Oliver just laid out how the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act -- and how it helps the GOP

John Oliver, in a brilliant return, explains why the GOP is pushing Voter ID and other vote-suppressing laws

By Brendan Gauthier
February 15, 2016 6:03PM (UTC)
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John Oliver returned to airwaves last night for his third season of "Last Week Tonight." The week's topic: voting.

"In recent years some states have made voting easier," Oliver said, noting mail-in ballots and online registration. Meanwhile, "others have gone in the opposite direction, because depending on who you are and where you live, you may face new obstacles to voting this November, thanks to ... the Supreme Court's decision to weaken the Voting Rights Act."


"[S]tudies have shown, these restrictions tend to disproportionately impact African-American and Latino voters," Oliver continued, citing a 2014 report that found black and Latino voters in Texas to be 1.78 and 2.42 times likelier to lack photo I.D., respectively, than their white counterparts. "It's just one of those things that white people seem to be more likely to have, like a sunburn or an Oscar nomination"

Oliver then tackled the right's "voter fraud-prevention" red herring:

"The only crime [voter I.D. laws] prevents is voter impersonation: one person showing up to the polls, pretending to be someone they're not, which is a pretty stupid crime because you have to stand in line at a polling place and risk five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, all to cast one probably not consequential extra vote.

"In terms of pointless crimes, it's right up there with forging a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon. It's a lot of trouble with low reward."

Watch Oliver's full takedown below:

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Antonin Scalia John Oliver Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Voter Id Laws Voting Rights Act