The Supreme Court, today, struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and if it weren’t for the fact that we have a ‘do nothing’ Republican Party seeking to make sure that people’s voting rights are curtailed everywhere, this could be the opportunity to expand that section to the whole nation.
In their decision, the Supreme Court was partially correct in that the metric originally used to set up the bill is now woefully out of date. Unfortunately, last year, Republicans tried very hard to push bills that forced people to get federal ID’s in order to vote. At least those were also deemed unconstitutional.
The reaction has been swift and everywhere.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, in a statement, that “The Voting Rights Act has been a cornerstone of ensuring the rights won in the Civil Rights movement continue to stand strong today. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant setback that will put Congress to the test of whether we can move quickly and without partisanship. I urge my colleagues to meet that test.”
She went on to say “We must be clear — The Voting Rights Act is not ancient history. Just last year alone, Section 5 helped prevent discrimination across the country – on issues ranging from state ID’s to redistricting and reducing early voting. Voting is a sacred right and ensuring that every vote counts is a cornerstone of our democracy that must be embraced by both sides of the aisle.”
Gillibrand concluded with “The last time Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006, it was passed for the fourth time with sweeping bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress. We must come together once again to ensure that every American has the fundamental right to vote regardless of which community they live in.”
The question is, will the Republicans be willing to open up the Voting Rights Act to the whole country? Probably not. The thing is, it is necessary for the protection of people’s right to vote that the nation have a new system by which the Congressional districts are determined. Specifically, one that is fair and honest instead of gerrymandered all over the place.