President Obama told a gathering of civil rights leaders at the White House on Monday that his administration is committed to restoring legal protections for minority voting, and a Florida legislator who attended the meeting said his colleagues are motivated by the knowledge that slain black Florida teen Trayvon Martin would have been eligible to vote next year. The president and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. assured the group that they will work on a legislative response to the Supreme Court’s decision in June that struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a key section that the administration said was needed to combat discrimination in targeted states and districts. That provision required states with a history of voting discrimination to submit any changes on election law to the Justice Department for approval.
“There is a wound in the Voting Rights Act, but it is far from dead,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, an MSNBC commentator who attended the meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. It was closed to the media.
As part of the response to the court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, Mr. Sharpton said an emerging coalition of advocacy groups will be used as “resources” to report any voting-rights violations directly to the Justice Department.
Florida state Rep. Alan B. Williams, Tallahassee Democrat, emerged from the White House meeting and said part of their effort will be to fight Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s move to “purge” lists of voters deemed ineligible.
Full Article: Obama vows fight on voting rights – Washington Times.