Mass. Dems fault court ruling on voting rights law


 BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick and other top Mass. Democrats are criticizing the Supreme Court's ruling on the landmark Voting Rights Act.

The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday that a key provision of the law cannot be enforced unless Congress creates an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.

Patrick called the decision "disappointing." He said many areas of the country are moving to limit access to the ballot and that politics is still "racially polarized" in states covered by the provision in the law.
U.S. Sen. William "Mo" Cowan and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III also criticized the decision.
Cowan said the ruling "turned back years of progress" on expanding voter access.
Kennedy said the decision ignores persistent discrimination. He said Congress must use the setback to strengthen the voting act.