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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Alabama wins Supreme Court case against Voting Rights Act

The South has climbed one step closer to rising again.

Today the United States Supreme Court sided with the great state of Alabama and overturned a key component in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This historic decision has happened while Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama are in charge. 

In her dissent to the ruling, Justice Ruth Ginsburg was joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. Ginsburg said the success of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy, in other words, it should have been left alone.

"Recognizing that large progress has been made, Congress determined, based on a voluminous record, that the scourge of discrimination was not yet extirpated," Ginsburg said in her dissent. The Court was persuaded otherwise, and now Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, and Virginia will not have to pass any changes to state voting laws before federal officials.

States rights in the South have won, and conservatives are rejoicing. It was reported that Georgia Congressman Johnny Isakson said he is proud of the South after today's ruling, a South which has a history of disenfranchising voters. 

Voter's rights are still protected, but we will see what the South's next move to turn the political tide will be. To read the ruling, go to:

Photo by Tomi Johnson


  1. Today, the US Supreme Court issued a decision on the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    It is unfathomable to me that our High Court would disenfranchise so many citizens. With a stroke of a pen, the Court has essentially invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

    While the Court addressed Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the ruling makes Section 5 invalid and requires the US Congress to re-examine the VRA.

    The Supreme Court struck down a central portion of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, effectively ending the practice in which some states with a history of racial discrimination must receive clearance from the federal government before changing voting laws. The vote was 5 to 4. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the decision.

    Georgia and other states that have had historically discriminatory voting maps and patterns will no longer be required to pre-clear their maps through the Justice Department. Instead of showing the potential impact of discrimination on voters, this change will apply to after-the-fact discrimination. It places the burden of proof on ordinary citizens - those who can least afford lawyers.

    This current ruling continues a pattern of the Justice Roberts' Court of protecting big business and big government, as evident in rulings in the cases of University of Texas admissions and a recent ruling that removes the burden of companies for their supervising employees' actions.

    Now, more than ever, it is time for Georgia Democrats to step up and say, 'enough!'

    The Republican Majority in Georgia drew maps in 2012 that reduced Democratic voting performance. Georgia is nearly 50 percent Democratic and they diminished our voting strength to 32 percent through gerrymandered maps. However, today's Supreme Court ruling may backfire when Democrats across the state rally.

    Enough is enough.
    Nikema Williams
    Acting Chair, Democratic Party of Georgia

  2. Just hours ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder that gutted a signature achievement of the Civil Rights Movement, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, placing millions of people of color, women and young people at the mercy of a dysfunctional Congress.

    While I was hoping that the Supreme Court would do the right thing, after hearing the arguments, it's hard to be shocked at today's result. Justice Scalia even described the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act as “the perpetuation of a racial entitlement.” Since it was uttered from Scalia’s lips, that phrase — “racial entitlement” — has lingered in my mind for months now.

    For Black people, voting has never been an entitlement, it is a freedom that has been earned through extraordinary sacrifice. But because the freedom to vote is not explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution, conservative state legislators have been attacking that very freedom in states across the country.

    That's why we need a constitutional amendment that guarantees the freedom to vote for everyone, wherever they live. Will you join us on our new website?

    Without an amendment guaranteeing the freedom to vote, each state sets its own electoral rules, leading to confusing and sometimes contradictory policies with regard to polling hours, registration requirements, voting equipment, ex-felon rights and even ballot design. The result is an electoral system divided — separate and unequal.

    For decades the Voting Rights Act has protected voters in pockets of the country with a history of racially discriminatory voting practices blocking more than 1,500 voting laws aimed at making it harder for us to vote. Just this past election, it allowed the Justice Department to block attempts by politicians in Texas, South Carolina and Florida to manipulate the voter rolls. Now that the Court has overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, previously protected states such as these are now in limbo.

    Will you go to now and join me in the fight for a constitutional amendment for the freedom to vote? Voters need protection regardless of where they live.

    Current right-wing efforts to make it harder for people to vote are not bound by geography or a history of racial discrimination — they are widespread, targeted and coordinated. And when you really begin to dig into the types of right-wing voter suppression bills that are spreading across the country — discriminatory Voter ID laws, proof of citizenship requirements, laws that prevent groups like the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote from organizing registration drives, attempts to purge people with ethnic names from the rolls, and limits to weekend voting hours in urban communities — it is clear that far-right politicians are trying to keep the rising American majority of young people, women and people of color away from the polls.

    Shifting attitudes and demographics demand a new approach to protecting the freedom to vote. We have to stop playing defense and work to enact bold change to expand the freedom to vote.

    Please visit now and join me in ensuring all Americans have the freedom to vote.

    The Voting Rights Act was the result of decades of hard work, advocacy, protests and marches, and courage before fire hoses and police dogs. It was one of the crowning achievements of a generation.

    The road to a constitutional amendment for the freedom to vote is similarly long and paved with obstacles. This is no ordinary campaign, but one that will require years of hard work to win.

    Let's keep rising together and ensure every American has the freedom to vote.

    Thanks and Peace,

    Rashad Robinson
    Executive Director,

  3. TC says: This is what integration has got us, we were not looking at politics, but we were looking at money and got sold again!

  4. TC adds:
    We need to be at every “decision-making” table in America!!!


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