JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS (AP Photo/Sidney Davis/File) by Daryl Gale Last week was an up and down week for the progressives and minorities who have been closely watching the movements of the Supreme Court. There was jubilation upon news of the ruling that gay marriage is probably about to become settled law, with the Defense of Marriage Act torn to shreds; and hair-pulling frustration at the word that key portions of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark legislation that represents the greatest victory of the civil rights era, were scuttled because — and this may be news to some of you — America has apparently gotten over its criminally racist tendencies and every individual’s right to vote is already protected. We’ll get back to that bogus assertion in a minute, but for now, I’d like to talk about the one member of the Supreme Court whose opinions and behavior continued to baffle me until this week — our old friend Clarence Thomas.
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) WASHINGTON (NNPA) – President Obama has pledged that his administration will do “everything in its power” to repair the damage done by the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday when it struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. “I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today,” he said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Attorney General Eric Holder expresses disappointment in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in the Alabama voting rights case, Shelby County v. Holder, June 25, at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) by George E. Curry WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the part determining which states and political subdivisions are subject to the preclearance provision of the law, is likely to spark voting rights challenges around the nation, according to a study by New York University.