As we approach the 48th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, this historic civil rights legislation remains an essential protection against the discrimination that still threatens Americans' right to vote. Congress needs to move swiftly to restore the effectiveness of the VRA ("Voting rights ruling faces test," July 26). Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted key components of the law. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.
We are strongly encouraged by the recent announcement by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that his office will use other portions of the VRA to support a suit against Texas and other states that pass discriminatory voting laws, and we agree with Mr. Holder that "legislation … must fill the void left by the Supreme Court's decision." Only strong action from Congress can fix the court's mistake.