Richmonders rally in D.C. for support of Voting Rights Act

Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-28 07:01:24-05

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - The Supreme  Court in Washington heard oral arguments Wednesday regarding Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 is the requirment that says some states - including Virginia - need to have any new election or voting law approved by the Federal Justice Department.

That requirement was put in place for states with histories of voter supression.

In Shelby County vs Holder, lawyers argue Section of 5 of the Voting Rights Act is outdated and no longer needed.

"We have minority participation at record levels, we have minority candidates elected by 90 percent white populations," Frank Ellis, an attorney representing Shelby County, said.

But many activists in the NAACP in Richmond believe Section 5 is still needed.

For that reason, about 30 Central Virginians traveled to Washington to rally outside the Supreme Court.

"We believe it is needed and neccessary," Chesterfield President LJ McCoy told CBS 6 in Washington.

"We want the Voting Rights Act to stay as is," McCoy said.

In an exclusive interview with CBS 6 Reporter Joe St George outside the Supreme Court, the Reverend Jesse Jackson said why the current law needs to stay the current law especially in Virginia.

"The day of the inauguration when the VA legislature pulled a coup on black legislators that day is enough evidence," Jackson said.

"What they did to Mr. Marsh shows meanness still exists," Jackson added.