A landmark and controversial decision today by the Supreme Court.

The Justices have ruled unconstitutional a major section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In a 5 to 4 decision split on ideological lines, the Court said Congress must revise the provision of the 1965 law requiring states with a history of racial discrimination, to obtain federal permission before changing their voting laws.

It's a provision that determines which states require federal monitoring during elections.

Civil Rights leaders call the Court's decision devastating.

Writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said when Congress rewrote the Voting Rights Act 2006, it relied on 40 year-old voting data that does not reflect modern America.

Alabama's governor Bob Bentley pointed  out that much has changed since the law was enacted.

But Voting Rights supporters  point out that in last year's election several states passed laws requiring voters to show ID or proof of citizenship, for example.

The Court did say that Congress can impose federal oversight on states where voting rights are at risk, but it must do so using recent data.

It's not clear when or IF this deeply divided Congress will act.

In a statement President Obama said he was "deeply disappointed with the Court's decision. He called on Congress to revise the voting law.

How do you feel about it?