PoliticsNation host and National Action Network founder, Rev. Al Sharpton, released the following statement after meeting with President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the recent dismantling of the historic — and still necessary — Voting Rights Act of 1965:
Today the United States President and Attorney General met with a broad coalition of civil rights and voting rights leaders to assure us that they will continue to work with us to protect every American’s right to vote. We had great alarm when the Supreme Court ruled against Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act but after meeting with the President and the Attorney General we were assured that the Voting Rights Act may be wounded but it is not dead. It is not even critically wounded; it can and will be revived. The President said his Administration will do whatever is necessary to protect the rights of the American people to vote. I made it clear that one of the things that National Action Network and our partners will do at the 50th anniversary March on Washington on Saturday, August 24th is to attack and name those states that have engaged, since the court decision, in changing voter qualifications, and that have made efforts to suppress the votes. We will go into those states and register specific numbers of voters, and organize a national resistance as we did in 2012. The President spent about forty minutes with us and the Attorney General an hour and a half.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Holder addressed the National Urban League during their annual convention in Philadelphia, candidly speaking about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
[T]oday I am announcing that the Justice Department will ask a federal court in Texas to subject the State of Texas to a preclearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. This request to “bail in” the state – and require it to obtain “pre-approval” from either the Department or a federal court before implementing future voting changes – is available under the Voting Rights Act when intentional voting discrimination is found.
Based on the evidence of intentional racial discrimination that was presented last year in the redistricting case, Texas v. Holder – as well as the history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities that the Supreme Court itself has recognized – we believe that the State of Texas should be required to go through a preclearance process whenever it changes its voting laws and practices.