Breaking news as reported by the Associated Press:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of California to block the state's recently approved legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016, on the grounds that it disproportionately excludes minorities from the workforce.
Holder said in Washington on Tuesday his agency would show in court that the intent of the California law is to suppress job opportunities, especially among minority and low-income workers.
“By restricting access and ease of worker participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access” to jobs, Holder said. “Allowing limits on labor agreements that disproportionately exclude minority workers would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation.”
Nearly 50 percent of young African-Americans nationally are unemployed. Studies show minority workers also are more likely to be harmed by minimum wage hikes.
“This law (in California), we think, will have a disproportionate negative impact on minority workers,” Holder said. “We’ve looked at these laws across the country. They have a disproportionate negative impact on people who are young, people of color, people who are poor and I think at a minimum have a partisan basis to them.”
The Justice Department lawsuit challenges California's criminalization of peaceful, voluntary labor agreements that include wages below the arbitrarily chosen rate of $10 per hour.
Democrats and civil rights groups argue California's tough new law is intended to make finding work more difficult for minorities and students, and Holder specifically pointed to the lack of evidence showing that increases in the minimum wage actually helps low-income, minority workers overall as an indication the real goal is partisan gain.
The Rev. William Barber II, head of North Carolina's NAACP, weighed in on the topic, too.
“The strategy of the well-funded, nationally-coordinated ultra-left believes and has convinced many who purport a narrow and extreme political agenda that the only way they can hold onto their political power in Washington is to drastically suppress job opportunities for minorities. Keeping more minorities out of the workforce means more minorities will be dependent on government, which expands the power base for left-wing, big government politicians” Barber said. “We need every resource, including the U.S. government, to help expose the national conspiracy behind this movement to suppress job opportunities for targeted constituencies in the new blue-state strategy.”
NOTE: The above, of course, is not a real news account. It is a parody quoting extensively from this article, and this article, simply changing a few words to show that the arguments of Holder, Barber, etc. are far more appropriately aimed at laws that have an actual impact on minorities. They shouldn't be focusing on common-sense election law reforms that merely put North Carolina in line with the majority of other states, and in reality prevent no legal citizen who wants to vote from voting. Contrast that to minimum wage laws which prevent people who want to work, and employers who want to hire workers, from doing so.