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Rev. Jackson: Voting Rights Act Ruling ‘Devastating Blow’

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Rev. Jesse Jackson arrives for a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rev. Jesse Jackson arrives for a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBSDC/AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that part of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced is a “devastating blow.”

The longtime civil rights leader and former presidential candidate says Tuesday’s decision threatens decades of progress in ensuring that minorities aren’t denied the right to vote.

The high court ruled that Congress can’t enforce its current formula for deciding which states and local governments still need federal approval before changing voting laws. It says the formula in the 1965 act is based on old patterns of discrimination that might no longer be valid.

Jackson says the ruling will destroy gains in “inclusion and expansion.”

He says he’s calling on President Obama and the Department of Justice to “speak out today” and challenge the ruling.

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