Tuesday's decision by the US Supreme Court gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act is an outrage that must be answered by working people. This act of judicial oppression is a milestone in the mounting attacks on democratic rights by the US financial aristocracy and its political servants.
By a 5-4 margin, the court effectively abrogated one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. The Voting Rights Act remains on the books, but its enforcement mechanism has been declared unconstitutional and struck down.
The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts is insolent in its dismissal of any concern over five unelected judges overturning an act of Congress and defying the popular will. This ruling will shock and anger millions of working people -- and it should.
Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy will go down in history alongside those high court justices who issued the pro-slavery Dred Scott decision in 1857. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, these minions of American capitalism have demonstrated that the US ruling class is opposed to the democratic principles for which millions of working people have given their lives.
The narrow majority dropped any pretense to judicial restraint or respect for the separation of powers, overturning a law that was reauthorized only seven years ago by overwhelming votes -- 98-0 in the Senate, 390-33 in the House of Representatives -- and signed into law by a Republican president, George W. Bush.