The sad truth is that the root of the problem is Congress" laissez-faire attitude towards voting rights. If the Congress truly believed that the right to vote was "˜fundamental", as House Speaker Dennis Hassert declared yesterday, then there wouldn"t be fear that this fundamental right would not be accorded equally. There wouldn"t have been a month-long delay and the Voting Rights Act would have been instantly, if not unanimously, passed. If Congress believed that the right to vote was indeed sacred, they would have vigilantly protected this right - the debacle over Georgia"s voter ID law and Tom DeLay"s mid decade redistricting plan in Texas, is evidence enough that we need to protect the right to vote more fully.
Instead, they allowed these discriminatory rulings either to pass or to go unchecked, leaving it to the courts to look out for this right. While the judiciary is an arm of the government, and all three chambers should be equal, the right to vote is one that should be uniformly protected by all three - the House, the Senate and the courts. If two chambers remain dormant, then the whole purpose of checks and balances has become redundant.
It is time for Congress to step up to the plate and give the people what they deserve - progress, freedom and liberty - by passing the Voting Rights Act. The government also needs to act in tandem to protect this cornerstone of democracy - the right to vote.