McDonald Gives Reaction to Supreme Court Voting Rights Ruling

mcdonaldA surprise ruling from the Supreme Court is drawing a wide range of reaction, much of it negative. For one College of Law professor, the Supreme Court's decision on voting rights is a slap in the face.

"This is a shameful participation by the majority of the Supreme Court in a fantasy belief that racial violence and efforts to prevent voting by racial minorities no longer exists," says Janis McDonald. "We are in a very dangerous time when activist conservative justices ignore overwhelming congressional support for these very key sections of the Voting Rights Act. Congress needs to act to remedy this attack on the voting protections law so many died to establish during the 1960s."

In a 5-4 ruling, the high court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It required states with a history of racial discrimination to receive federal approval before making changes to local election laws. It was put in place to remove barriers minorities faced in getting to the polls.

Some justices felt the act was outdated. President Obama has already gone on record as saying he is "deeply disappointed" with their decision. He wasn't alone. Attorney General Eric Holder says millions of people could be negatively affected by the ruling. And McDonald, who is currently in the midst of helping her students uncover cold case civil rights crimes, believes the high court erred in its vote.

"I am sure Mr. Vernon Dahmer, who fought to get fellow blacks to safely register to vote in his community and was murdered in Mississippi by the KKK for those very efforts," says McDonald, "would be organizing right now to demand Congress overturn this erroneous decision."