Chattanooga NAACP Chapter speaks out on Supreme Court decision - WSMV Channel 4

Chattanooga NAACP Chapter speaks out on Supreme Court decision

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP is speaking out on the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a portion of the Voting Rights Act and they're less than pleased.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Karilynn Galiotos talked to the groups leaders and city officials, who are calling on our federal lawmakers to restore section four.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules a law passed at the height of the Civil Rights Movement is no longer relevant. In a five to four decision earlier this week, the high court ruled key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act are not constitutional. Chattanooga's branch of the NAACP disagrees with the ruling.

"I think the court has taken a political stance on this matter," said James Mapp, President, NAACP Chattanooga Branch.

Section four of the act spells out a formula for the federal government to use when figuring out which states and counties are subjected to oversight over voting laws.

Tennessee is not a state that must get clearance before changing its law. But the NAACP says the state has actively been involved in making laws to restrict voting rights.

"Any infringement on the right to vote and the opportunity for the man on the street and the woman on the street to vote is an infringement on our constitutional rights and our civil liberties," said Quenston Coleman, Chairman, MLK Birthday Celebration.

Some Chattanooga city leaders see this ruling as a slippery slope for more restrictions.

 "You could cut down the days of early voting to none. You could impose the old Jim Crowe law of testing of some type, so people need to be very conscious of this and be willing to do their part in the change," said Usuf Hakeem, Chattanooga City Council Chairman.

Chattanooga's NAACP branch says they're pressing Tennessee's federal lawmakers to restore section four. They also say you can play a big role.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts says this ruling is necessary because our country has changed for the better, and this law is no longer necessary.

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