Readers React

The Voting Rights Act doesn't need to be fixed

To the editor: No new legislation to update the Voting Rights Act is needed. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down only one provision of the law, and there are plenty of other voting-rights laws available to ensure that the right to vote is not violated. ("Restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act," editorial, March 10)

What's more, the bill that has been drafted is bad legislation. For example, it does not protect all races equally from discrimination; it contains much that has nothing to do with the Supreme Court's decision. Furthermore, it violates the Constitution by prohibiting practices that are not actually racially discriminatory but only have racially disproportionate effects.

The bill is also not really bipartisan, despite claims of its proponents. At Senate hearings last year, it was clear that no Republican would favor it, because it is designed to give a partisan advantage to the left.

Likewise, the House leadership has refused to move the bill — and that's a good thing.

Roger Clegg, Falls Church, Va.

Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, served in the Justice Department in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

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To the editor: I posit that our current Congress is probably close to one of the most feckless in the history of our nation. But the idea that few in that body are demanding that Congress replace those portions of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court chose to rescind is appalling.

When I read that approximately 600,000 people in Texas alone lack the required identification to vote, I couldn't believe it. For many of those people the costs involved in getting identification are beyond their means.

We just spent a weekend celebrating the fact that this is a nation with "liberty and justice for all." When is somebody in a position of power to going to step up and make our Pledge of Allegiance be of greater significance than rote recitation?

Sheila Alperstein, Woodland Hills

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