Atlanta. . . King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder:
“Today is a sad day for America because a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has undermined protection of voting rights for millions of citizens. Given all of the voter suppression we have seen in recent years, it is unconscionable for the majority to rule, in effect, that the Voting Rights Act is no longer needed. This ruling will go down in the history of jurisprudence in America as a betrayal of our democratic values.
“Many Americans made great sacrifices, and some paid the highest price, to achieve the protection of voting rights that was provided by this historic legislation. We must press forward with ever-increasing resolve to restore the full protection of the Voting Rights Act and to secure federal, state and local government protection of voting rights for all Americans.
“I call on congress to act swiftly to pass legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full strength. If it takes a new era of citizen action to persuade congress to restore protection of our voting rights, then I encourage all Americans of conscience to rise to the challenge. Indeed, it is a challenge we must accept as we prepare to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the great dream my father shared with the world on that occasion.”