In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court today struck down a key piece of the Voting Rights Act. As recently as last year, tens of millions of Americans’ voting rights were protected under Section 4 of the legislation. Now, state officials seeking to suppress Black, Hispanic and other disenfranchised groups’ votes by mandating reissuance of identification cards and other stumbling blocks will have their way.
According to an article published by The Atlantic, “By voiding the legislative formula that determines which jurisdictions must get federal “preclearance” for changes to voting laws, today’s ruling enables officials in virtually every Southern county, and in many other jurisdictions as well, to more conveniently impose restrictive new voting rules on minority citizens. And they will.”
On the decision, Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP released the following statement: “This decision is outrageous. The Court’s majority put politics over decades of precedent and the rights of voters. Congress must resurrect its bipartisan efforts from 2006 to ensure that the federal government has the power to preemptively strike racially discriminatory voting laws. Without that power, we are more vulnerable to the flood of attacks we have seen in recent years.”
Jealous continued, “While Section 2 is powerful after the fact, we must have a tool to protect against stolen elections proactively.”
Read more at The New York Times.