letters | keeping our rights unalienable

In voiding part of Voting Rights Act, court overstepped its legal role

TOM KEANE (“The court was right,” Op-ed, June 30) and Jeff Jacoby (“Civil-rights generation prisoner to its fears,” Op-ed, June 30) present reasonable defenses of the Supreme Court decision throwing out critical parts of the Voting Rights Act, but they miss the larger point. It is not the place of the court to substitute its judgment for that of the political branches, Congress, and the president, but only to rule on whether their actions are consistent with the Constitution.

In the voting rights case, the majority, like Keane and Jacoby, based its decision on the judgment that the law was a mistake; they present no argument that the law violates any constitutional provision now or when it was passed. Without such constitutional basis, the court is guilty of dangerous and undemocratic overreach.

Gerald Friedman