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Obama: Court ruling on voting rights a ‘setback’

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President Obama said Tuesday the Supreme Court erred striking down part of the Voting Rights Act, calling it a "setback" for minority voters.

Mr. Obama said the country has made progress on discrimination but has not escaped the need for the federal government to patrol the states.

"Today's decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent," Mr. Obama said.

In a 5-4 ruling the justices said that while the federal government can exercise special scrutiny of states, it cannot hold them accountable for discrimination that occurred decades ago.

The court struck down the formula the Voting Rights Act of 1965 used to determine the states that are required to submit their voting changes to the federal government for approval.

Mr. Obama, in a statement after the ruling, acknowledged "a great deal of progress" has been made on voting rights. But he said discrimination still exists.

He urged Congress to revisit the issue and pass new laws that would protect voting rights.

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