Voting rights decision was long overdue

Published 12:06 am Thursday, June 27, 2013

Think for a moment about how much has changed in the world since 1965.

Seat belts were new requirements for U.S. automakers; color TVs just began being adopted; and computers were the size of a house.

Clearly, much has changed in the world and the people in it over the last nearly 50 years.

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So the U.S. Supreme Court’s Tuesday decision that a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was outdated is clearly long overdue.

Critics of the decision have taken a “sky is falling” approach to the change. They argue the court’s decision is the tiny leak in the dam that will lead to a flood of retroactive practices that will lead the South back to the Jim Crow era.

But we don’t see how that is remotely possible any more.

America has changed greatly.

The once-oppressed minority voters are no longer powerless to fight any racial threats as they were in the 1960s.

Is the South free of racists? Certainly not. But then again, neither is the rest of the country, either.

We’ve long said that singling out the South to require preclearance of any voting system changes is unfair to the South.

The Supreme Court seems to have agreed. A formula for applying the law needs to be based on modern facts, not 1965 ones.