Today, August 6th is the anniversary of the 1965 signing of the Voting Rights Act. Historian Gary May’s newest book is Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy. In it, he traces the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 from its creation during the heyday of the civil rights era to the challenges its historic provisions face. Recent developments have plunged the VRA—and the newest efforts to decimate it—back into the headlines.
Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says he will call hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee to see if legislation can be written to protect minority voting rights that many feel were threatened after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and other top Democrats are criticizing the Supreme Court's ruling on the landmark Voting Rights Act.
The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday that a key provision of the law cannot be enforced unless Congress creates an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.
Patrick called the decision "disappointing." He said many areas of the country are moving to limit access to the ballot and that politics is still "racially polarized" in states covered by the provision in the law.