The federal government has been at odds with several Republican-led states over their efforts to change voting laws since the Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Thursday night on All In with Chris Hayes: The battle over voting rights is heating up. The federal government has been at odds with several Republican-led states over their efforts to change voting laws since the Supreme Court’s decision in June striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Arizona, Kansas, and Texas have all passed laws requiring people to prove their citizenship when registering to vote. Current federal law requires that voters simply affirm their citizenship under penalty of perjury. These states say the laws are aimed at preventing voter fraud. On Wednesday, Arizona and Kansas announced they are suing the federal government to force the Elections Assistance Commission to change registration forms to conform with the new laws. The next day, the Department of Justice struck back, filing suit against Texas over its voter registration law, and pledging to intervene in the state’s redistricting laws. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell weighed in on the issue in North Carolina Thursday, saying that changes to voting laws like those passed by Governor Pat McCrory last week “just turn people away.” He added, “‘You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud.” Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director of the Advancement Project, will join Chris Hayes to discuss the threats to voting rights.
Chris Hayes will also talk with Masha Gessen, an openly gay Russian journalist who launched the first effort to fight Russia’s anti-gay laws. Gessen, a mother of three, has decided to relocate to the U.S. because her kids could be taken away from her and her partner under her country’s laws.
Later, Chris will delve into the reaction to the random killing of an Australian student in Oklahoma. Some right-wingers have argued that the case proves that white people are actually the main victims of violent crime—a point they’ve been trying to make since the Trayvon Martin case.
Plus: The New York City Council voted Thursday to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto on legislation that would reign in the police department’s stop-and-frisk procedures. MSNBC Contributor and Professor at Lehigh University James Peterson will join Chris to talk about stop-and-frisk and why there isn’t more outrage about the policy from white liberals, especially those so concerned with the privacy rights issues brought up by the NSA leaks. Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and David Sirota, Columnist for Salon.com, will also join the conversation.