Biden calls on Congress to 'repair the damage' after Supreme Court's voting rights decision

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Joe Biden
Joe Biden SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden is sharply criticizing the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld voting restrictions in Arizona, blasting the decision as "harmful."

Biden on Thursday said he was "deeply disappointed" by a ruling from the Supreme Court that upheld two restrictive Arizona voting laws, finding they didn't violate the Voting Rights Act.

"In a span of just eight years, the court has now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – a law that took years of struggle and strife to secure," Biden said in a statement.

Biden criticized what he described as a "broad assault against voting rights" taking place in the United States, arguing that "additional laws are needed to safeguard that beating heart of our democracy," adding, "The court's decision, harmful as it is, does not limit Congress' ability to repair the damage done today: it puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength

The Arizona laws the Supreme Court upheld required that ballots be tossed if they're cast in the wrong precincts and said that only voters, family members, or their caregivers may collect or deliver ballots, NBC News reports. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, said that "mere inconvenience cannot be enough to demonstrate a violation" of the law. Meanwhile, in the dissent, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote that it was "tragic" that the court has "damaged a statute designed to bring about 'the end of discrimination in voting.'"

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