MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - By now you've heard the news that the Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 4 striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which established a formula to identify those areas in our country where racial discrimination in voting was prevalent and to provide for more stringent remedies where appropriate.
The court upheld all of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the preclearance requirement itself, which requires those affected states to have changes to their voting laws cleared by the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before they go into effect. The court ruled that the current formula, in Section 4, that determines which states are covered by Section 5 is unconstitutional, effectively eliminating Section 5 enforcement.
Now it's going to take a literal "Act of Congress" to come up with and agree upon a new formula to determine which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval, prior to making any election changes. This in our opinion will never happen as its a political hot potato and the Voting Rights Act protections U.S. citizens had last week, are gone for the foreseeable future.
The spotlight on Alabama will shine brightly as one of nine, before now, required preclearance states due to past inequalities with regard to voting rights. Our state, our country can ill afford to go back in time to a place in our history of inequality and it's now on our watch Alabama to ensure this state steps only forward with fair and equal treatment of all citizens thereby eliminating a need for such an Act ever again.