Obama slams Supreme Court voting decision
WASHINGTON DC, United States - US President Barack Obama said Tuesday, June 25 he was "deeply disappointed" by a Supreme Court decision to strike down a key section of an election law designed to guard against racial discrimination.
"Today's decision ... upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent," Obama said in a statement.
Obama said the Voting Rights Act, endorsed by wide majorities in Congress, had secured the right to vote for millions of Americans.
"While today's decision is a setback, it doesn't represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls."
The Court ruled 5-4 that Section 4 of the 1965 law -- a cornerstone of civil rights legislation -- was unconstitutional, calling on Congress to redefine which states must seek government approval for changes to their electoral codes.
The Voting Rights Act -- which was last renewed by Congress in 2006 -- is opposed by some states which see it as outmoded, but a number of civil rights organizations argue it is still needed.
Under the act, 9 mainly southern states, as well as local governments in 7 states, are required to obtain Justice Department approval for any changes to their voting laws. - Rappler.com