Alveda King: MLK Would Be Troubled by Supreme Court's Voting Rights Ruling

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 06:28 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Having lost her iconic uncle to the civil rights struggle, Dr. Alveda King tells Newsmax that Martin Luther King Jr. would probably be troubled by Tuesday's Supreme Court decision gutting the landmark Voting Rights Act.

"I can't necessarily speak for my uncle, but I don't believe he would say, 'Abandon everything because there's no need; everything is fine,'" said King in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. "Everything is not fine."

While she herself considers the 1965 law to be "imperfect," King said she fears that some states will seize upon the court ruling to limit voter rights in the future.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that Congress had used obsolete reasoning when it continued to force nine states, mainly in the South, to get federal approval for voting rule changes affecting blacks and other minorities.

The court ruled in favor of officials from Shelby County, Ala., by declaring invalid a section of the law that set a formula that determines which states need federal approval to change voting laws.

"We should always be watchful when we remove something," said King, a Newsmax contributor. "Remember the past because it could repeat itself."

Although she agrees with President Barack Obama in principle that Congress should step in to ensure equal access to voting polls for all Americans, King said that she is not convinced he will come up with the right solution.

"It sounds good, but what’s the plan?" she asked of the president. "Are you now again playing on people's emotions, or is the intent to make things better for everyone? That's the question."

She noted there was a time in the not-too-distant past when African Americans were often denied their right to vote.

The Voting Rights Act brought important legal protections for minority voters that were a key achievement of the civil rights movement of the 1960s led by her uncle.

"I believe the law has helped — especially in the rural states and the southern states — where there still remain some inequities in the voting process," said King, whose family home was firebombed during the civil rights struggle.

"All Americans can vote pretty much, unless you're in jail, or [with] some exceptions," King said, recalling something her slain uncle once said.

"He always said that the law perhaps cannot keep people from feeling something in their heart, but it can cause them to do what's good or what’s right," she said.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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