Voting Rights Act Essay

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The Continuing Importance of the Voting Rights Act
On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court made its final decision on the Shelby County, Alabama v Holder Case, deeming Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, passed by Congress in 1965 and extended many times, unconstitutional. Section 5, although not being struck down, became insignificant without Section 4 as it was the triggering formula that determined the coverage of Section 5. This Supreme Court decision took away the key part of the Voting Rights Act, which was an important method for the federal government to oversee and enforce the enfranchisement of black people in some states. While justifying their decision, the Court mentioned that Section 4 only applied to specific states and it was
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Although Chief Justice Robert viewed these facts as proof that the Voting Rights Act was no longer needed, this in fact showed the importance and effectiveness of the Act, without which, none of these improvements in enfranchisement could possibly happened. When section 4 and 5 are taken away, the situation will be exactly the same as the years 1870-1964, when African-Americans in many southern states lived under the shadow of the Ku Klux Klan, and was beaten by police at Selma during Bloody Sunday. The past is the best reference of the future. Although people may argue that this country had made great stride regarding the problem of discrimination, without a strong and effective law as Section 4 and 5, there is no guarantee that theses violent events will not happen again. Therefore, although the Congress did not use recent data to support the law, the history of discrimination in parts of the United States can also be used to justify needs of today. This discrimination of people of color existed so long that it was a dominant
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