Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., attacked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for voting to invalidate a section of the Voting Rights Act, saying that he damaged the country more than Edward Snowden, the defense contractor on the run after committing the biggest national security leak in American history.
“Comparing it to Snowden, I’d say the offense is worse,” Johnson told The Huffington Post. “He consciously repeats those same steps over and over again to the detriment of the African-American community.”
Thomas joined four other conservative justices in finding that the formula used by Congress to decide which states have to seek federal approval before changing their election laws is outdated. Before the ruling, the Justice Department had the authority to approve or block electoral changes in southern states with a history of discrimination.
Thomas, the only black member of the court, thought his colleagues didn’t go far enough, saying that the whole idea of seeking federal approval in order to prevent discrimination is a relic of the Jim Crow era and “no longer necessary.”
“Today, our Nation has changed,” Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion. “‘The conditions that originally justified [section 5 of the Voting Rights Act] no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions.’”