"This is a devastating blow to Americans, particularly African-Americans, who are now at the mercy of state governments. Given last year's attempts by states to change voting rules, it is absurd to say that we do not need these protections." – Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act this Tuesday, and many prominent figures have voiced their approval or disgust.

The legislation, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, helped to guarantee equal voting opportunities where historically there had been discrimination.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices decided that the Section Four of the bill cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.

Click through the slideshow above to see reactions from influential Americans on the court’s decision.