Editorial Roundup: National Disappointment After SCOTUS Voting Rights Act Ruling

While we’re still celebrating yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and Prop 8, we’re still disappointed by the Court’s ruling against the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday. Already, criticism of that decision is coming in from all corners of the country. Take a look at some of the latest headlines:

Washington Post: The Roberts Court casts aside judicial restraint on Voting Rights Act case

“Led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Supreme Court on Tuesday gutted a key element of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most potent anti-discrimination tools Congress ever devised. It was an audacious ruling devoid of the restraint the chief justice and his colleagues in the majority should have shown.”

USA Today: Voting Rights Act wasn't broken

“The Supreme Court ‘fixed’ a law that wasn't broken Tuesday, striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act….Before renewing the law in 2006, Congress held 21 hearings over 10 months and concluded that the ‘covered jurisdictions’ still tried to discriminate against minority voters. A federal district court upheld the law, and so did the conservative federal circuit court of appeals for the District of Columbia, which wrote that the law continued ‘to single out the jurisdictions in which discrimination is concentrated.’”

Los Angeles Times: A setback for voting rights

“[T]he unwise 5-4 decision will make it easier for state and local governments with a history of discriminating against minorities to engage in subtler forms of disenfranchisement. The ruling is an unjustified incursion by the court on a power explicitly conferred on Congress by the Constitution to protect voting rights, and it serves the interests of those who would make voting harder, not easier.”

New York Times: An Assault on the Voting Rights Act

“The conservative majority on the Roberts Court issued another damaging and intellectually dishonest ruling on Tuesday.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Supreme Court's giant leap backward on voting rights

“With its decision Tuesday in Shelby County v. Holder, the court’s five-conservative majority reclaimed its partisan reputation. In an opinion written by the chief justice himself, the court went far out of its way to overturn the will of Congress in 1965, not to mention the will of the post-Civil War Congress (and the will of the states that ratified the 14th and 15th amendments) that former slaves should have the full rights of citizenship — including equal protection under the law and the right to vote.”

Boston Globe: Voting rights decision is a blow to fair elections

“By striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act Tuesday, five justices of the US Supreme Court dealt a setback to fair elections in states with a documented history of racial discrimination. And in undoing this key protection of individual voting rights, they relied on a selective reading of the facts.”

San Antonio News-Dispatch: Court ruling sets back voter rights

“For the moment, however, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act will not be a tool available to combat such discrimination. … And in this, the court majority has grievously set back efforts to thwart states and jurisdictions with discriminatory intent in voting.”

San Jose Mercury News: Voting Rights Act decision a blow to American democracy

“It's hard to imagine a clearer case of activist justices legislating from the bench than the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Tuesday to strike down a portion of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely regarded as the most important civil rights legislation in U.S. history. The potential consequences for our democracy are chilling.”

Kansas City Star: Backtracking on voting rights in D.C. and Kansas

“The court’s outrageous 5-4 decision to strike down a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will give aid and comfort to conservative state lawmakers across America who want to make voting more difficult for blacks, Hispanics, the elderly and the poor.”

Sacramento Bee: Voting rights still require full protection of law

“Attempts to stop racial minorities from voting are not consigned to our history. Sadly, they are part of the present – but voters now have less protection after the 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and supported by the court's frequent swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy of Sacramento.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Supreme Court rolls back the clock on voting rights

“The rumble in the vicinity of Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis Tuesday morning likely was Hubert Humphrey rolling in his grave. With a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court dismembered the 1965 Voting Rights Act, for which Humphrey crusaded as both Minnesota’s U.S. senator and vice president.”

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