In a WSJ op-ed, Abigail Thernstrom and Edward Blum are up in arms about the federal government using "unconstitutional" "emergency" measures to apply "radical punishments." And what is the subject of their alarm? Holding U.S. citizens without trial? Torturing of detainees in U.S. custody? Military tribunals for enemy combatants? No, no, and no. The real threat to the Constitution is the Voting Rights Act! Specifically the pre-clearance provision of Section 5 that requires covered jurisdictions to obtain the approval of the Justice Department for any change in their voting or election laws.
In fact, the vast majority of Section 5 submissions are routinely approved, but the measure provides a powerful deterrent against the sorts of electoral shenanigans that have long been used to deny or dilute black political power. As political scientist Rick Valelly, the author of The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement put it recently:
The evidence of selective disenfranchisement of minorities in America is plentiful—and growing. Such selective disenfranchisement is rare in jurisdictions that are now covered by the Voting Rights Act.
Think about it this way, crime is increasing in neighborhoods without any police, but it's low in the neighborhoods where there are police. Thernstrom and Blum are arguing that the low crime rates in those neighborhoods means we don't need to police them anymore.
The real issue for Thernstrom and Blum is that they don't like majority-minority districts because they don't like the "far-left minority candidates" elected in those districts. I won't defend every representative of a majority-minority district, but in a democracy the people of those districts have the right to choose their representatives just as much as anyone. Also, the racial polarization of the electorate is less a function of majority-minority districts than the overwhelming unwillingness of whites (particularly but not exclusively in the South) to vote for any black candidates, be they liberal, moderate, or conservative. Finally, Thernstrom and Blum seem to have a double standard here since they have nothing to say about the "far-right white candidates" elected in largely white and usually politically-gerrymandered districts.