U.S. Supreme Court Srikes Down Part Of 1965 Voting Rights Act
The United States Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.
The justices said in 5-4 ruling Tuesday that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that doesn't reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.
The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965.
But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval for election changes.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the ruling. "These problems have not been consigned to history. They continue to exist. Their effects are real. They are of today, not yesterday. And they corrode the foundations of our democracy," says Holder.
The Louisiana Democratic Party weighed in on the Court's decision today.
Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson says,
Democrats across the nation and here in Louisiana are disappointed in today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act, but we are not discouraged. We vow to continue the fight to ensure every citizen -- regardless of race, economic background, age and gender -- has equal access to the ballot box. There is nothing more American than the act of voting, and we must remember how hard those who went before us fought to make sure all Americans can exercise this right. Republicans have continued to push for laws that would make it harder for Americans to vote. Democrats will vigorously oppose those efforts and work for legislation to expand the franchise. If just one eligible voter is turned away from the polls, our entire democracy is diminished.
Meanwhile, Judge Andrew Napolitano took the opposite position in an interview on Fox News' "America Live." "According to the Court, the procedure is not necessary anymore because the conditions that caused Congress to create that procedure have been eradicated by the procedure."
You can watch Napolitano's reaction below: