By Blake Neff - 01/21/14 07:49 AM EST
Vice President Joe Biden on Monday launched a blistering attack on Republican-backed voter-identification laws during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech in Washington, and urged civil rights activists to fight to halt a “hailstorm” of new voting laws and restore recently-abolished provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
Biden also strongly criticized the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states and localities with a history of discrimination prior to 1965 to have any changes to election law cleared by the federal government.
“Justice Ginsburg [writing for the dissent] got it right when she said throwing out the existing process when it's working, and continues to work, is 'like throwing away an umbrella in a rainstorm because you're not getting wet,' ” Biden said. “Now we're in a hailstorm, [with] new attempts by states and localities to limit ballot access without the full protection of the law.”