Transcript: NAACP Legal Defense Fund Director Ryan Haygood’s remarks on the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act

Partial transcript of remarks by Ryan Haygood, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act on June 25, 2013:

There are two truths that flowed today from the Supreme Court’s decision striking the coverage provision of the Voting Rights Act.

The first is that it is a substantial act of judicial activism and overreach. The court today departed from its own precedent. Over four decades, four times, this Supreme Court upheld Section 5 as constitutional and upheld the provision that covers the jurisdictions covered by Section 5 as constitutional.

The second truth is this that there are now millions of minority voters in those places across this country covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which are vulnerable to the types of adaptive and intense and pervasive voting discrimination that Section 5 has protected them from for more than 48 years.

The good news is this: As we are providing these remarks, we are facing the nation’s capital which houses members of Congress. In 2006, Congress in an overwhelming bipartisan effort – 98 to 0 in the Senate, 390 to 33 in the House – voted together to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years. It is the judgment of Congress to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was not [subjected to] the court’s overreach today.

We, as Sherrilyn mentioned, call on Congress in this moment – if there’s any moment, it is now – that the country can unify around the importance of protecting the voting rights of those voters who have been made most vulnerable by their states’ persistent efforts to discriminate against them in their voting process.

Congress in this moment must take this seriously, must seize this opportunity together in a bipartisan way to re-enact a measure that will protect the voting rights of those voters who have been vulnerable since 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was first passed.

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2 Comments on “Transcript: NAACP Legal Defense Fund Director Ryan Haygood’s remarks on the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights President Barbara Arwine's remarks on the Supreme Court decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: AG Eric Holder's remarks on the Supreme Court's decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act | What The Folly?!

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