Excerpts from court ruling on Voting Rights Act

Excerpts from the Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that voids a key part of the Voting Rights Act:


“The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process. During the ‘Freedom Summer’ of 1964, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, three men were murdered while working in the area to register African-American voters. On ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1965, in Selma, Alabama, police beat and used tear gas against hundreds marching in support of African-American enfranchisement. Today both of those towns are governed by African-American mayors. Problems remain in these states and others, but there is no denying that, due to the Voting Rights Act, our nation has made great strides.” — Chief Justice John Roberts.


“Although the (Voting Rights Act) wrought dramatic changes in the realization of minority voting rights, the act, to date, surely has not eliminated all the vestiges of discrimination against the exercise of the franchise by minority citizens.” —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


“Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.” — Chief Justice Roberts.


“By leaving the inevitable conclusion unstated, the court needlessly prolongs the demise of that provision.” — Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote an opinion to say he would have found the Voting Rights Act’s Section 5 unconstitutional as well.


“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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