Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI12) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 4 contains formulas for determining which states must receive federal preapproval to change their voting laws.
"I consider my vote for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 among the most important of my entire career. While I recognize that times have changed since 1965, I am angered by the Supreme Court's decision to gut one of the single most important anti-discrimination laws on our books. By striking down Section 4, the Court, by extension, has rendered Section 5 -- which requires federal preclearance for certain states to change their voting laws -- unenforceable. Without an effective backstop to prevent the kind of abuses the Act sought to address, I fear that many minority Americans will be further subjected to the very same types of discrimination that nearly tore our country apart in the 1960s. Congress absolutely must act swiftly to pass bipartisan legislation that will restore and re-empower the Voting Rights Act. We did so by large margins in 1965--in the face of a divided country-- and we can again, provided we put aside partisan antics and compel ourselves to do what is right for this country and all who live in it."