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Rep. Clay: ‘We Have To Remain Vigilant’ Against Voter Suppression

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Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay

Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX/CBS) - The U.S. Supreme Court may have spoken Tuesday when it struck down a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act but Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, says there is still more to say.

The court ruled that Section 4 of the law, which provides the formula for determining which states must have any changes to their voting laws pre-approved by the Justice Department, is outdated and thus unconstitutional. If Congress wants to keep certain states, mostly southern states with a history of racism, under the Justice Department’s watch, it will have to rewrite Section 4.

Clay believes there has been a systematic approach in recent years to eliminate some Americans’ access to the voting booth.

“So that’s why we have to remain vigilant about protecting peoples’ voting rights and I will do that until the day I die,” he said.

Clay is considering legislation that would create a new formula for the Justice Department to approve election procedures in states with a history of discrimination as well as those shown to be engaging in what he calls voter suppression tactics, such as voter identification requirements.

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