When he signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson said:
This act flows from a clear and simple wrong. . . . Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote. The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify. The right is one which no American, true to our principles, can deny.
In the decades since, the Voting Rights Act has become the keystone in the arch of protection for people of color. Yet today some still seek to deny these Americans the right to vote. That can be seen in the many efforts at voter suppression during the 2012 presidential election. During the current term, the Supreme Court will rule on a challenge to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act itself.
Today, AFJ debuts a new page on our website devoted to why we still need the Voting Rights Act. We’ll be adding more resources in the weeks ahead.