Sharpton: Court Just Killed MLK's Dream

Voting Rights Act decision provokes outcry on left
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2013 2:05 PM CDT
Sharpton: Court Just Killed MLK's Dream
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks to the media in Detroit, Thursday March 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

"They just canceled the dream." That was Al Sharpton's reaction to the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act decision, which has provoked a full-on outcry from the left, from President Obama on down. Sharpton was perhaps the most vociferous. "Part of, at least half, of what Dr. King’s dream was about was voter rights ’65. They’ve just revoked that," he said, according to Politico. "And the children of the dream are not going to sit by and allow that to happen." Here's what some other people are saying, as rounded up by USA Today, the New York Daily News, and others:

  • President Obama said he was "deeply disappointed" and that the decision "upsets decades of well-established practices" to ensure fair voting. "I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls."
  • Attorney General Eric Holder vowed that despite the ruling, "We will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action using every legal tool that remains available to us against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court's ruling by hindering eligible citizens full and free exercise of the franchise." He said the court had invalidated "an essential part" of "a cornerstone of American civil rights law."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: "The Supreme Court has turned back the clock on equality in America. … The law is as necessary today as it was in the era of Jim Crow."
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: "We must be clear—the Voting Rights Act is not ancient history." She pointed out that when it was renewed in 2006, the act enjoyed "sweeping bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress."
  • NAACP President Benjamin Jealous: "This decision is outrageous," making black people "more vulnerable to the flood of attacks we have seen in recent years. ... We must have a tool to protect against stolen elections proactively."
  • Twitter has been buzzing over the decision. As of 1pm, ABC News reports, there had been 79,000 tweets mentioning the Supreme Court, and another 57,000 with a mention of the Voting Rights Act, putting it in the same ballpark as today's anniversary of Michael Jackson's death (96,000 mentions) as a topic of 140-character conversation.
(Read more Al Sharpton stories.)

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