Voting Rights Act under legal review

During vigorous arguments Wednesday over the scope of federal power to screen election law in states with a history of discrimination, the Supreme Court justice who could cast the deciding vote made clear his dueling concerns.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said he thinks the 1965 Voting Rights Act has prevented discrimination, but that it may now be wrongly punishing some states over others.

“No one questions the validity, the urgency, the essentiality of the Voting Rights Act,” Kennedy said of the law that ended poll taxes, literacy tests and other devices that kept minorities from the polls for most of the 20th century. “The question is whether or not it should be continued.”

USA Today, via Clarion-Ledger