WASHINGTON — Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said Wednesday that the fact that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas voted this week to gut the Voting Rights Act — the 1965 law aimed at protecting disenfranchised voters — ranks him somewhere below the likes of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information about U.S. surveillance programs to the press.
“Comparing it to Snowden, I’d say the offense is worse,” Johnson told The Huffington Post.
Johnson, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Snowden was wrong to leak top-secret materials to the media but was also “mistaken” in thinking that NSA’s activities were illegal. By contrast, Thomas, who is black, is “legally aware of the consequences” to the black community of striking down a core piece of the Voting Rights Act, Johnson said, yet he did it anyway.
“He consciously repeats those same steps over and over again to the detriment of the African-American community,” Johnson said of Thomas’ conservative voting record.
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