Georgia Republican leaders are praising a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that tosses out a key part of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. Some Democrats say it's nothing short of a threat to democracy.
Right now, Georgia and other states with a history of discrimination must clear any change to voting procedures with the Justice Department. Tuesday's ruling takes that power away from the federal government unless Congress comes up with a new way to determine which jurisdictions should be monitored.
Congressman Sanford Bishop is disappointed with the ruling but hopes Congress can come up with rules that are fair and don't primarily target southern states. "I think a violation of voting rights is just as egregious if it occurs in New York or Ohio or California or Pennsylvania as if it occurs in Georgia, Florida, or Alabama," Bishop said.
He said the Voting Rights Act dramatically increased opportunities for African Americans to vote and get elected. He said there are many places around the country, including in Georgia, where that pre-clearance rule is still needed to prevent efforts to reduce black voting power unfairly.