The U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 25 struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act that identified certain states, mostly in the South, that Seeded federal permission to change their voting laws. The Justice Department used Section 4 of the law in order to prevent discriminatory voting measures.
Sixth District Congressman James Clyburn says the court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination. In an interview Friday on MSNBC, Clyburn says it’s time for Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to refresh the language in the Voting Rights Act restoring those protections.
“We do not want to do anything that will be insulting to either side, but we all know that the Supreme Court said itself that there is still problems with voting in many pockets of the United States, and maybe we do need to update the formula and no one has anything against that.”
Clyburn says healthy dialogue among House Democrats and Republicans, including GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor, indicates that a solution can be reached.
“Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and (House Majority) Leader Cantor (R-VA) have opened a dialogue on this subject and I think they are making significant progress. We have the same thing taking place in the House Judiciary Committee.”
Known as one of the landmark civil rights legislative measures in U.S. history, the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. It was last reauthorized in 2006 with bipartisan support.