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The Supreme Court's Ruling on the Voting Rights Act Is a Travesty of Justice

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No, no, no! Not now, nor ever!

Today's 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court striking down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, mandating Congress to re-write the section, is a travesty of justice.

The ruling said that Congress had not provided adequate justification for subjecting nine states, mostly in the South, to federal oversight.

"In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority.

"Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were."

The New York Times' Adam Liptak writes:

"Chief Justice Roberts said that Congress remained free to try to impose federal oversight on states where voting rights were at risk, but must do so based on contemporary data. When the law was last renewed, in 2006, Congress relied on data from decades before. The chances that the current Congress could reach agreement on where federal oversight is required are small, most analysts say."

Justice Roberts says that Congress must act to craft legislation to enable the "Pre-Clearance" requirements of section 5 to be re-activated. Placing the fate of the voting rights of African-Americans, who have had their voting rights historically denied or curtailed, in the hands of the current Congress, is opening the gate for the fox to go into the Chicken coop to protect the hens.

This decision of the Supreme Court is blasphemous. It has been issued only a few months before the 50th Anniversary of the Dr. King's sacred "Dream" described at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington, Aug 28th, 1963.

Those of us who remember and care about the struggle during the last 50 years for equal opportunities to vote for African-Americans must say to Congress we will not stand idly by and let the voting rights we earned through blood, sweat and tears, be limited or extinguished by the Supreme Court or Congress.

Our answer should be no, no, not now or ever! A million person March should be initiated to convene at the Lincoln Memorial on the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King's prophetic dream. A resounding message must be sent to Congress that says, NO, NO, we will not abide or permit you, now or ever, to restrict or limit our right to vote!