President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he's "deeply disappointed" with the Supreme Court's decision to gut the historic Voting Rights Act, but vowed that the ruling will not "represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination."
"I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans," Obama said in a statement. "Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent."
With Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority, the court struck down a centerpiece of the landmark 1965 law applied to determine which states and localities — all with a history of racial discrimination — must first clear any changes to their voting laws with the Justice Department or a federal court.
"As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists," Obama continued in the statement. "And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process."