Video | President Obama Speaks on Climate Change- AG Holder Remarks on SCOTUS Decision on the Voting Rights Act


President Obama speaks on Climate change and Keystone Pipeline.

AG HolderspeakS on SCOTUS decision: Voting Rights Act. 

statement on VRA-PBO

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41 Responses to Video | President Obama Speaks on Climate Change- AG Holder Remarks on SCOTUS Decision on the Voting Rights Act

  1. Ametia says:

    VP Joe, “They gone put ya’ll back in CHAINZ” Biden

  2. rikyrah says:


    I was 19 years when the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed and
    signed into law. Like every one in the 60s, I regarded the Act as a monumental achievement although it had come at a terrible cost. Precious lives were lost in the struggle to secure voting rights. Today’s Supreme Court decision hit me so hard that I had decided not to say or write anything.

    I spent the day trying to reflect on this horrible day. Five men of the highest court in the country, in a decision without precedent, erased one of the most important achievements of the Black Freedom Struggle, which was earned as a result of the sacrifices of so many people, many of whom are no longer with us. But then I realized that what happened today, though horrible, is no where near the horrors that our ancestors had to endure without ever giving up or losing hope.

    If our ancestors could endure 244 years of slavery and more than100 years of Jim Crow, then this too shall pass. Re-watching Dr. King’s speech, at the conclusion of the Selma-to-Montgomery March, renewed my determination to press on.

    Today was pay back day by the right wingers on the Court because we showed up twice, in unprecedented numbers, to elect Barack Obama President of the United States. I hope we will pay the right wingers back by showing up in even greater numbers, in 2014, to defeat right wing Republicans at all levels of government. We especially need to focus on the importance of electing members of Congress who are committed to undo today’s Supreme Court abomination.

  3. rikyrah says:

    David Axelrod ✔ @davidaxelrod

    With SCOTUS gutting of Voting Rights Act, races for Secretary of State suddenly take on new and important meaning.
    7:37 PM – 25 Jun 2013

  4. rikyrah says:

    America’s Fatigue in the Fight Against Racism

    Jamelle Bouie

    June 25, 2013

    How John Roberts’s ruling elevates white fatigue into constitutional law.

    “The stated purpose of the Civil War Amendments was to arm Congress with the power and authority to protect all persons within the Nation from violations of their rights by the States,” writes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent against the five justices who ruled to overturn Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) today.

    The reason for citing this fact of history is straightforward: In it resides the core dispute of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the case decided by the Supreme Court this morning.

    The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was the last of the three Civil War amendments and arguably the most controversial. It was one thing to emancipate the slaves (the Thirteenth Amendment) or guarantee equal protection under the law (the Fourteenth Amendment), but the Fifteenth granted suffrage to black men, which was a bridge too far for many whites, in both the North and South. To Southern politicians of the time, it was “the most revolutionary measure” to ever pass Congress.

    The full text of the amendment is as such: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” What’s more, “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

    For nearly a century after its passage, the first clause was all but unenforced. States—in the South and otherwise—were permitted to restrict the franchise for blacks through use of poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and broad criminal codes that required disenfranchisement for the smallest offenses. The Voting Rights Act, as Justice Ginsburg explains, was Congress’ attempt to actualize the second clause of the Fifteenth Amendment, and begin to fix the abuses of the past.

    In particular, Section 4 of the law sets down a formula to identify which state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination are required to “pre-clear” (a provision of Section 5) changes to voting law with the federal government. By and large, these are the states of the former Confederacy and other areas with a history of low black turnout and laws that sought to reduce black voting.

    In his opinion—speaking for the 5–4 majority—Chief Justice John Roberts takes pains to emphasize the extent to which he isn’t opposed to the goal of ending racial discrimination in voting. He just doesn’t believe the current formula reflects the progress of the last 40 years, particularly in terms of black turnout and rates of officeholding. Striking it down gives Congress a chance to reevaluate the formula, and to devise one that reflects the conditions of the present moment.

    This sounds reasonable, but there are two facts that make this an extraordinary decision. First, it ignores the extent to which Congress built flexibility into the VRA with its 2006 reauthorization, which passed with near-unanimous support after months of investigation and intensive hearings. For instance, if a state or local government can show a decade of compliance—as well as progress toward remedying racial discrimination in voting—it can receive an exemption. The states and localities that continue to fall under pre-clearance are those that show ongoing patterns of discrimination on top of meeting the standards set out in Section 4. “All told,” notes Ginsburg, “between 1982 and 2006, DOJ objections blocked over 700 voting changes based on a determination that the changes were discriminatory.” In reauthorizing the VRA with the same formula, Congress emphasized the extent to which it felt comfortable with this continued vigilance. To cite progress as a reason for striking it down, Ginsburg writes, “is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

    The second thing relates back to the Fifteenth Amendment. Yes, Roberts says that Congress can revisit Section 4 and devise a new formula. But the reality is this: There’s little chance that Republicans in either chamber would sign on to revising the VRA. Which means that, for all intents and purposes, pre-clearance—which relies on Section 4 for its teeth—is no longer in effect. If Congress was trying to fulfill the mandate of the Fifteenth by reauthorizing the VRA, then Roberts has said, “No, you can’t, because times have changed.”

    The problem is that our long history of apartheid, discrimination, and white supremacy requires an equally long attempt at repair and reconciliation. It’s why the 2006 reauthorization extended the VRA for another quarter century: because “40 years has not been a sufficient amount of time to eliminate the vestiges of discrimination following nearly 100 years of disregard for the dictates of the 15th amendment,” the law’s authors note.

    The last three years are proof positive of this assessment. Writing for Colorlines, Brentin Mock notes that four states—Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi—have passed voter identification laws that could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people, the large majority of whom are African Americans. The Justice Department was able to block these under pre-clearance, but the Court’s ruling now means they can go forward. It’s also not hard to find information on Republican-passed laws that restricted early voting, made registration more difficult, closed polling locations (almost always in predominantly minority precincts), and created new, more onerous requirements for casting a ballot. These laws are largely the reason that African Americans waited in line to vote nearly twice as long as their white counterparts. That this occurred mostly in the states of the former Confederacy (the ones formerly covered by pre-clearance) is no accident.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Welcome to South Carolina, John Roberts


    Two days before Christmas in 2011, Dr. Brenda Williams, who together with her husband runs a small family-physician practice in Sumter, S.C., was on the road with him and their daughter when they got word that the U.S. Department of Justice had decided to challenge a strict new voter ID law signed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Brenda hooted and hollered in the car—this had become a cause for her, ever since she realized how difficult it was going to be for many of her patients and other low-income black South Carolinians to obtain the paperwork needed to get the requisite photo ID. She had sent countless entreaties and documents to Washington making her case, and here was the reward: the DOJ was denying the South Carolina law “pre-clearance” under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

    Haley would protest the action loudly—I saw her on the campaign stump in Greenville a month later with Mitt Romney declaring that a Romney administration would let South Carolina do whatever it chose when it came to voting rules. But federal law was federal law, and as a result of the DOJ’s challenge, South Carolina agreed in the subsequent months of federal court hearings to significantly soften the new requirement to exempt anyone who had a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining ID.


    At the heart of the case was a logical dispute: Roberts and his conservative colleagues on the court argue that strong turnout by African-American voters in Southern states is proof that racism is no longer driving voter suppression there, while the court’s minority argued that it was precisely the vigilance of the Voting Rights Act that had helped bring about and ensure that higher participation. “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet,” wrote Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent, in what is surely one of the pithiest retorts in court history.

    Based on Brenda Williams’ experience in South Carolina, it is indisputable that Ginsburg’s reading is correct: things would be a lot worse without the VRA. As Williams set out to help patients without the photo IDs required by the new law—state officials estimated there were 180,000 residents in that category—she found person after person for whom getting the ID would be a struggle. There was Thelma Hodge, a 76-year-old who lacked a birth certificate—when Williams called the local health department about getting one, she says she was told to “contact vital statistics.” That led to a call to a company called VitalChek, which has rights to a national registry of birth certificates and charges $30 for a copy, plus a $12.95 handling fee, plus $9.75 shipping—a total of $64.70. Williams put it on her credit card, as she would for many of the other 100-plus people whom she helped secure IDs.

    Amanda Wolfe, 28, not only did not have a birth certificate but did not know who her birth parents were. Naomi Gordon’s birth certificate but it misspelled her first name as “Lmnoie,” the apparent result of having been birthed six decades ago by a midwife with sloppy or poor writing skills. Her brother Raymond Rutherford had his name misspelled as Rayman; his only photo ID was one he’d bought from the local liquor store in 1976 for $10. Junior Glover, 78, had his birth recorded only in a family Bible that was destroyed in a fire in 1989. Clyde Daniels had a birth certificate but no proof of his address, as all his household records were in his wife’s name.

    In the meantime, Williams was getting signals from local power-brokers about what they made of her activism. On April 19, 2011, she received an e-mail from Phillip Lowe, a Republican state representative whom she had contacted about funding for her efforts to get IDs for residents. Lowe e-mailed right back: “I have a way of funding your operation and solving all the name change problems. Ask all the people needing to change their name to come to a free legal seminar. Have [the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] run a free background check. If any turn up in the most wanted list, you will get the reward. :)” Her local state representative was jokingly assuming that those she was helping were being sought for crimes.

  6. rikyrah says:


    – The outrageous defense of Trayvon’s murderer,
    – The gutting of the VRA,
    – The excuses being made for Butterball Deen and her racist kin,
    – Justifications made for NYC’s stop and frisk,
    – The gerrymandering of congress which enables these travesties,
    – A national press that ignores these issues to focus on Snowden’s magical white privelege treason tour,

    I don’t want to hear not a damned word about post-racial anything.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Judd Legum @JuddLegum

    Coverage of Obama’s speech on Climate:

    MSNBC: 41 seconds

    FOX: 4:37

    CNN: 8:05

    Weather Channel: 49 mins

    2:20 PM – 25 Jun 2013

  8. rikyrah says:

    Rep. John Lewis: I Never Thought I’d Live To See Voting Rights Act Undone

  9. rikyrah says:

    Justice Ginsburg Slams Supreme Court’s ‘Hubris’ In Fiery Dissent On Voting Rights Act

    Sahil Kapur June 25, 2013, 11:40 AM

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned the fierce dissent against the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Tuesday to invalidate a key section of the Voting Rights Act, accusing the conservative justices of displaying “hubris” and a lack of sound reasoning.

    “[T]he Court’s opinion can hardly be described as an exemplar of
    restrained and moderate decision making,” wrote the leader of the
    court’s liberal wing. “Quite the opposite. Hubris is a fit word for
    today’s demolition of the VRA.”

    …“Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today,”she wrote. “The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story.”

    …“In my judg­ment,” Ginsburg wrote, “the Court errs egregiously by overriding Congress’ decision.”

    She lambasted the majority for “disturbing lapses” in its reasoning,
    citing as one example its failure to explain why the plaintiff in the case, Shelby County of Alabama, should be freed from preclearance despite its history of voter discrimination.

    “Although the VRA wrought dramatic changes in the realization of
    minority voting rights, the Act, to date, surely has not eliminated all
    vestiges of discrimination against the exercise of the franchise by
    minority citizens,” Ginsburg wrote.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Charles Johnson @Green_Footballs

    Opposition to the Voting Rights Act is one of the core principles of Ron Paul – the guy Edward Snowden supported.

    12:16 PM – 25 Jun 2013

  11. rikyrah says:

    And so it begins
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:17 PM EDT

    In the wake of this morning’s Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act, it stood to reason that Republican policymakers, especially in the South, would be pleased. After all, despite generations of institutional racism and systemic discrimination, these officials have wanted to curtail voting rights without the Justice Department’s interference for a while.

    But exactly how long did it take before we learned of GOP policymakers acting on that satisfaction? About an hour after the ruling was announced.

    Just hours after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that guts parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas is moving forward with a controversial voter ID law that state Attorney General Greg Abbott hopes to implement right away.

    “With today’s decision, the state’s voter ID law will take effect immediately,” Abbott said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”

    The Texas law requires voters to show photo identification to vote — a measure that was blocked by the Justice Department, arguing the law could discriminate against racial minorities. At the time, Attorney General Eric Holder called the law a “poll tax.”

    Holder was right, but according to the Supreme Court majority, that no longer matters.

    What’s more, it’s not just Texas. My Maddow Show colleague Tricia McKinney found all kinds of related examples, with officials who seemed almost giddy by the prospect of acting on voting rights without fear of Justice Department intervention.


    There was this AP story out of Mississippi …

    Mississippi Republican officials are applauding Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will allow the state’s voter identification law to take effect without federal approval

    and this one out of South Carolina …

    S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson said the Supreme Court ruling is a victory over “an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty in certain states, including South Carolina.” He said great strides had been made over time, making the preclearance requirement obsolete.

    “Today’s decision means the voting rights of all citizens will continue to be protected under the Voting Rights Act without requiring a different formula for states wishing to implement reasonable election reforms, such as voter ID laws similar to South Carolina’s,” Wilson said. “This is a victory for all voters as all states can now act equally without some having to ask for permission or being required to jump through the extraordinary hoops demanded by federal bureaucracy.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Civil rights icon Lewis: Justices don’t know discrimination

    In a personal turn, he suggested that the conservative justices who passed down Tuesday’s ruling would have decided differently had they ever experienced discrimination themselves.

    “These men never stood in unmovable lines. They were never denied the right to participate in the democratic process. They were never beaten, jailed, run off their farms or fired from their jobs,” Lewis said in a statement. “No one they knew died simply trying to register to vote. They are not the victims of gerrymandering or contemporary unjust schemes to maneuver them out of their constitutional rights.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Celebrate Gutting Of Voting Rights Act

    By Zack Beauchamp on Jun 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    After the Supreme Court struck down a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act this morning, several prominent conservative groups and writers tap-danced on the historic civil rights legislation’s grave.

    Writing at National Review, a magazine that defended segregation and has more recently published pieces by white nationalists and “race realists,” John Fund suggested that “The Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn a small part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is actually a victory for civil rights.”

    “As the court noted,” Fund continued, “what made sense both in moral and practical terms almost a half century ago has to be approached anew.” What Fund calls a “small” portion of the VRA, the “preclearance” power the Court severely limited, represented the sole stumbling block preventing several racially discriminatory laws from going into effect.

    True the Vote, a conservative group that pushed for precisely these laws, also celebrated the Court’s ruling. “This is without doubt a step in the right direction for our Republic,” Catherine Engelbrecht, the group’s Vice-President, said. True the Vote has been instrumental in helping spread voter ID laws around the country, several of which have been preempted by the Section 5 powers the Court neutered today.

    Erick Erickson, the Editor-in-Chief of RedState and a Fox News contributor, tweeted “YES! Pre-clearance unconstitutional.” While technically inaccurate — the Court did not rule that the Justice Department’s Section 5 power to prevent the implementation of racially discriminatory voting laws was unconstitutional, only that that the Section 4 formula for determining what jurisdictions were covered under Section 5 was — Erickson’s victory dance was right in effect, as the only path to restoring Section 5 is a highly unlikely Congressional rewrite of the Section 4 formula.

  14. rikyrah says:

    This is for the Slave Catching Coon on the Supreme Court:

  15. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    AG Holder says the last 18 months has shown that the VRA is very much needed. Mentions the DOJ having to block voter suppression laws.

    11:42 AM – 25 Jun 2013

  16. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Holder to states: “We [DOJ] will fight any jurisdiction that tries to take advantage of this Supreme Court decision to deny voting rights”

    11:47 AM – 25 Jun 2013

  17. Ametia says:

    They’ve been telling Americans how they’ve always felt and what they think.

  18. Ametia says:

    AG Holder: ‘The best way to defend a right is to go out and exercise it – stand up for your rights, register to vote.

    We need the freedom to vote

    Now that the Supreme Court has struck down key protections of the Voting Rights Act, we must amend the constitution to protect our freedom to vote. A constitutional amendment would allow the federal government to set national minimum election standards to ensure free, fair and accessible elections for all. Join the movement today: – See more at:

  19. Defend YOUR right to VOTE. Too many folks were beaten, spit upon, murdered, bombed, terrorized by dogs for our right to Vote. Stand Now!

  20. rikyrah says:

    LiberalPhenom @LiberalPhenom

    Where’s the outrage from the progressive civil libertarians? Oh, that’s right. That’s reserved for criminals like Snowden.

    10:24 AM – 25 Jun 2013

  21. rikyrah says:

    “The president and Congress needs to hear from us,” Sharpton said. “We just announced yesterday the 50th anniversary March on Washington. This march will now be with Martin Luther King’s son around protecting voter rights. What they have just done is really revoked a lot of what Dr. King’s dream was all about. We build a monument to Dr. King, and part of, at least half, of what Dr. King’s dream was about was voter rights ’65. They’ve just revoked that. They just canceled the dream. And the children of the dream are not going to sit by and allow that to happen.”

    Sharpton said civil rights activists are “not going to take it without a real fight and real resistance.

    “But I think more than just hearing from the president, we are going to hear from people all over the country. Let’s not forget with all the voting suppression last year, there was record turnout. People stayed in line seven or eight hours because people are not going to be robbed of their right to vote,” he said.
    And Sharpton said he and other leaders in the civil rights community will “call an emergency summit within days to mobilize the national community.”

    • Ametia says:

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for these lefty, whiney white folks to lift a finger to fight. the right to Vote has never affected them. It’s this fact that always gave them the feeling that they were ENTITLED. 2008 & 2012 proved too much for them. Especically 2012 when PBO won without the majority of whites. Too many Latinos and Blacks VOTING in America. They can’t have that!

      WE know how to FIGHT. Where’s that video, SG2. We’ve always had to fight for JUSTICE in this fucking country.

  22. Ametia says:

    LOL AG Holder is not taking any questions from the JACKALS,


  23. Ametia says:

    AG Holder: Every member of the SCOTUS agrees voting dicrimination still exists.

    WE will not hesitate to use every action in our jurisdiction to make sure every voter has the right to exercise their rights to vote.

  24. Ametia says:

    AG Holder is ready to speak in a minute.

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