Decision Disturbs Va. Civil Rights Soldier Marsh

By: AP
By: AP

June 25, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Tuesday's Supreme Court decision voiding a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act alarmed a Virginia legislator who was a foot soldier in the civil rights struggle and helped get Virginia covered under the law.

State Sen. Henry Marsh says Congress needs to update and reinstate part of the federal act that forces areas with racially discriminatory histories to submit election law changes for federal vetting to safeguard minority voting strength.

The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling struck down the section of the law requiring Virginia and other states, mostly in the South, to obtain Justice Department preclearance of redistricting plans. It said the requirement was outdated 48 years after the Congress enacted it.

Marsh says he gave the Senate documents that got Virginia covered under the section.

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