Major Civil Rights Victory and Set Back in Supreme Court Decisions This Week

This has been quite an eventful week for the United States Supreme Court, as we have experienced great highs and lows.

On Tuesday, the Court struck down a critical component of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, one of the towering achievements of the Civil Rights Era. This was a truly sad day for this country. The Court deemed that the criteria used to determine areas in which voter discrimination is prevalent no longer applies today. In effect, the Supreme Court gutted voting rights protections for millions of Americans and some states are already moving to implement voter suppression laws.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been a great success. Voter discrimination has decreased in recent decades because of this great legislative achievement. To remove this provision of the Act indicates that voter discrimination is no longer an issue in this country, and that is simply not the truth. Too many people have worked too long and too hard to see the Supreme Court make a decision like this one.

After the disappointment of Tuesday’s events, the Supreme Court made the right decision on Wednesday. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

A movement that began in our great state of New York, and where two years ago Governor Cuomo signed a law that ended marriage discrimination, has finally received the national attention that it deserves. The time has come for America to join the list of progressive nations that promote marriage equality. There is still much work to be done in this fight, but yesterday was a great day for this nation. I commend the Court for this decision.

-County Leader Keith Wright