The decision today striking down the core of the Voting Rights Act will one day be as reviled as Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. Five racists in the Court now have declared it is open season on depriving African Americans and others from their 15th Amendment right to vote.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, ruling that Congress had not provided adequate justification for subjecting nine states, mostly in the South, to federal oversight.NY Times
Republicans in Congress will never allow the formula to be updated. This means an acceleration in the Republcian attempts to disenfranchise people. It is their answer to the demographic time bomb they face.
John Lewis, when the supreme court heard argument on this case last spring:
On “Bloody Sunday,” nearly 50 years ago, Hosea Williams and I led 600 peaceful, nonviolent protesters attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery to dramatize the need for voting rights protection in Alabama. As we crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, we were attacked by state troopers who tear-gassed, clubbed and whipped us and trampled us with horses. I was hit in the head with a nightstick and suffered a concussion on the bridge. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized that day.Why we still need the Voting Rights Act, By John Lewis,February 24, 2013
In response, President Lyndon Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act and later signed it into law. We have come a great distance since then, in large part thanks to the act, but efforts to undermine the voting power of minorities did not end after 1965. They still persist today.
But without Section 5, guaranteed civil liberties of millions of voters could be flagrantly denied, and those violations would remain in force and nearly unchecked unless a lawsuit provided some eventual relief. The act also rewards progress. In fact, every jurisdiction that has applied for bailout, demonstrating a clean record over 10 years, has been freed from Section 5 compliance.
Evidence proves there are forces in this country that willfully and intentionally trample on the voting rights of millions of Americans. That is why every president and every Congress, regardless of politics or party, has reauthorized Section 5.
The right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy. I risked my life defending that right. Some died in the struggle. If we are ever to actualize the true meaning of equality, effective measures such as the Voting Rights Act are still a necessary requirement of democracy.
If the hood fits, Justice Roberts, wear it openly.
Justice Ginsburg correctly called this decision an "egregious error."
Racism ruled today but simple justice will overcome even this in time.
Update I: President Obama's Statement:
I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.Update II: Representative John Lewis speaks out today:
As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.
“These men that voted to strip the Voting Rights Act of its power, they never stood in unmovable lines,” Lewis told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “They never had to pass a so-called literacy test. It took us almost 100 years to get where we are today. So will it take another 100 years to fix it, to change it?” he asked.Think Progress: Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Tears Into Supreme Court For Gutting Voting Rights
“It is going to be very difficult,” to pass legislation in this Congress, Lewis admitted, “but people said the same thing in 1965.” “I think what happened today with the Supreme Court will motivate hundreds and thousands of people, African American, latino, white, Asian American, Native Americans, men, women, students, to come out. The vote is precious.”
Today is a sad day in our history.