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The Voting Rights Act Turns 48: Shall We Overcome?


48 years ago today, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by Lyndon Baines Johnson.

This year, the anniversary of the passage of the most important civil rights statute passed by the United States Congress leaves a bitter taste. A little over a month ago, a bare majority of the Supreme Court cut out the heart of the Voting Rights Act. And even worse, it did so with a farcically unpersuasive opinion based in large measure on literally confederate constitutional theories that weren’t very persuasive in 1857 and were rendered completely nonsensical by the Reconstruction Amendments.

I have little hope that the effects of this decision can be remedied given Republican control of the House. But Senates should still try to send legislation restoring Section 4 to the House, and at least make congressional Republicans make their support for the Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act public.

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