Here’s more reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday to strike down a key provision of the Voting Right’s Act:
“I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today… 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.”
– President Barack Obama
“The activist majority on the Supreme Court has taken the unprecedented step of taking over a uniquely legislative function in disregard of the extensive work of the legislative branch and substituting their own judgment for that of elected representatives. The decision overturning Section 4 of the VRA leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to discrimination in the most fundamental right of citizenship—the right to vote. I am deeply disappointed by the result they have reached and its impact on minority voters as well as the precedent they have set for disregarding the factual and political judgment of elected Members of Congress.”
-Congressman Mel Watt, 12th District of North Carolina
“It’s time to bring the Section 5 rulings into this century, not the last century.”
– N.C. Sen. Tom Apodaca, who adds a full voter ID bill will emerge from a Senate committee next week
“The U.S. Supreme Court took a distressing step backward. It overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law that helped protect democracy as recently as the 2012 election.
Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states and localities with a history of discrimination must seek pre-approval of changes in voting rules that could affect minorities. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Court invalidated the formula that governs which jurisdictions must have voting changes precleared. To be clear: this key section of the Voting Rights Act is now meaningless until Congress acts. We believe lawmakers have a duty to act.”
– Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice
“Make no mistake, this is a direct attack on the power of the changing vote and power of the African American and minority vote in the South by Tea Party and ultraconservative forces.
This is a direct attempt to hold on to the Solid South and break the back of the growing 21st century fusion politics movement that is reshaping electoral politics now and for the future.”
– Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP
“The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important civil rights laws in American history and has played a vital role in protecting the voting rights of North Carolinians from its passage in 1965 to the present. With attempts to suppress voting becoming more common and more sophisticated across the country, and North Carolina’s legislature poised to approve legislation that will make it harder for thousands of eligible state voters to cast a ballot by requiring forms of ID that many North Carolinians lack and cannot easily obtain, the need for such protections is more urgent than ever. Unless Congress acts promptly to make sure that the federal government has the tools it needs to protect voting rights, today’s decision could leave many North Carolinians vulnerable to attempts to exclude them from the democratic process. We urge Congress to act without delay.”
– Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina