Flashback 2006: Jo Bonner, Terry Everett voted against Voting Rights Act of 1965 renewal
WASHINGTON – Back in 2006, there were only two Alabama congressmen that voted against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which had parts declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, and then-Rep. Terry Everett, R-Rehobeth, were the only two of Alabama’s two senators and seven congressmen to vote against the 25-year extension. The extension passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, 390-33 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate.
According to the record of the debate of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 from July 13, 2006, Everett had made many of the same arguments the high court made in its majority opinion.
“I am disappointed that the House chose not to update the 1965 Voting Rights Act when it reauthorized the measure,” Everett argued. “The whole debate was cast as either you’re for the Voting Rights Act or you’re not. There was no attention paid to the fact that the Act’s formulas are out of date and place the Act itself at risk of constitutional challenge. As a result, states like Alabama continue to be punished for wrongs committed 40 years ago and the same criteria will remain in effect for another 25 years, through 2032.”
“The Voting Rights Act remains locked in a time-warp reflecting the voting realities of 1964, not 2006. The very constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act may be in question,” he added. “The Supreme Court found more than 30 years ago that the Act’s formula, which is based on the 1964, 1968 and 1972 presidential election voting data, was constitutional because it is was temporary and narrowly tailored to address a specific problem. Thirty years have since passed calling into question the basis of this ruling.”
Bonner, who announced last month he was stepping down from his First Congressional District post effective mid-August, had similar reasoning at the time in his opposition to the Voting Rights Act’s renewal.
“I regret that we were not able to be bold enough to say to the southern States which have shown so much progress that, after 40 years of advancement, we are now ready to move forward and give those areas where the sins of our fathers are no longer committed an opportunity to come out from under the burden of crawling to the U.S. Justice Department, on bended knee, and asking for its blessing to continue on the march for equality.”
What else is going on?
1. Obama declares war
2. Sewell: Injustices suffered on Bloody Sunday in 1965 have ‘not been fully vindicated’
3. Sarah Palin coming back to Alabama
4. To D.C. & back again, will Wells Griffith run for Congress?
5. SCOTUS rules in favor of Shelby County in Voting Rights Act case