Dear Commons Community,
The fallout from yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on voting rights was fast and furious. NBC legal correspondent Pete Williams said that the Court had struck down a “key part” of the Voting Rights Act by ruling that one of its sections was unconstitutional. “It’s a huge defeat for the civil rights community on the most important civil rights law ever passed,” he said.
That view was echoed across other networks. ABC’s Terry Moran, for instance, said that “right now, there is no Voting Rights Act operative in the United States.”
Speaking on MSNBC, Al Sharpton called the news “devastating.” Later, he said the Court had “revoked” and “canceled” part of Martin Luther King’s “dream.”
“The conservative majority on the Roberts Court issued another damaging and intellectually dishonest ruling on Tuesday. It eviscerated enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, in which Congress kept the promise of a vote for every citizen. But it did not rule on the constitutional validity of the idea that some places have such strong records of discrimination that they must seek federal approval before they may change their voting rules. Instead, the 5-to-4 ruling usurped Congress’s power and struck down the formula that it has repeatedly reauthorized to determine which states fall into that category.”