26
Jun
13

6.26.13 … SCt.Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act/Justice Ginsberg: “ ‘The arc of the moral universe is long,’ he said, but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.”

Voting Rights Act, Justice Ginsberg, Martin Luther King, Voting Rights Act:

Justice Ginsberg in her dissent quoted Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But Justice Ginsberg added on the phrase “if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.” I don’t think that was necessary. We know where John Lewis stands on the SCt’s opinion.  But after reading MLK’s speech in its entirety, i am not sure where MLK would come down.   I would advise reading MLK’s entire speech.  Here is the original MLK quote:

And as we continue our charted course, we may gain consolation from the words so nobly left by that great black bard, who was also a great freedom fighter of yesterday, James Weldon Johnson (Yes):

Stony the road we trod (Yes),

Bitter the chastening rod

Felt in the days

When hope unborn had died. (Yes)

Yet with a steady beat,

Have not our weary feet

Come to the place

For which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way

That with tears has been watered. (Well)

We have come treading our paths

Through the blood of the slaughtered.

Out from the gloomy past,

Till now we stand at last (Yes)

Where the bright gleam

Of our bright star is cast.

Let this affirmation be our ringing cry. (Well) It will give us the courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. (Yes) When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair (Well), and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights (Well), let us remember (Yes) that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil (Well), a power that is able to make a way out of no way (Yes) and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. (Speak)

Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Let us realize that William Cullen Bryant is right: “Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again.” Let us go out realizing that the Bible is right: “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. (Oh yeah) Whatsoever a man soweth (Yes), that (Yes) shall he also reap.” This is our hope for the future, and with this faith we will be able to sing in some not too distant tomorrow, with a cosmic past tense, “We have overcome! (Yes) We have overcome! Deep in my heart, I did believe (Yes) we would overcome.” [applause]

via “Where Do We Go From Here?,” Delivered at the 11th Annual SCLC 

“The great man who led the march from Selma to Montgomery and there called for the passage of the Voting Rights Act foresaw progress, even in Alabama,” she said. “ ‘The arc of the moral universe is long,’ he said, but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.”

In her written dissent, Justice Ginsburg said that Congress was the right body to decide whether the law was still needed and where. Congress reauthorized the law in 2006 by large majorities; the vote was 390 to 33 in the House and unanimous in the Senate. President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed the bill into law, saying it was “an example of our continued commitment to a united America where every person is valued and treated with dignity and respect.”

The Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the 2006 extension of the law in a 2009 decision, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder. But it avoided answering the central question, and it seemed to give Congress an opportunity to make adjustments. Congress, Chief Justice Roberts noted on Tuesday, did not respond.

Justice Ginsburg suggested in her dissent that an era had drawn to a close with the court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act, in Shelby County v. Holder, No. 12-96.

“Beyond question, the V.R.A. is no ordinary legislation,” she wrote. “It is extraordinary because Congress embarked on a mission long delayed and of extraordinary importance: to realize the purpose and promise of the Fifteenth Amendment,” the Reconstruction-era amendment that barred racial discrimination in voting and authorized Congress to enforce it.

“For a half century,” she wrote, “a concerted effort has been made to end racial discrimination in voting. Thanks to the Voting Rights Act, progress once the subject of a dream has been achieved and continues to be made.”

“The court errs egregiously,” she concluded, “by overriding Congress’s decision.”

via Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act – NYTimes.com.


0 Responses to “6.26.13 … SCt.Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act/Justice Ginsberg: “ ‘The arc of the moral universe is long,’ he said, but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.””



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