On 56th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, Congressional Voting Rights Caucus Underscores Commitment to Protecting the Right to Vote
WASHINGTON - Today marks 56 years since the enactment of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The VRA is a critical piece of legislation that fights against voter suppression by abolishing discriminatory voting practices and requires federal oversight of election changes in states with a history of voter discrimination. In 2013, key components of the law were gutted by the Supreme Court in its Shelby County v. Holder decision allowing states to reverse course and erect deliberate barriers to voting. On today’s anniversary, the co-chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus (CVRC) released the following statement:
“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most consequential civil rights laws of our time and for decades, helped our nation live up to the full promise of democracy. Today’s anniversary is a solemn reminder of those who shed their blood, sweat, and tears to ensure that everyone has free and fair access to the ballot box.
“Now their legacy and the right to vote are under attack. As states across the country advance sweeping, Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression legislation, the Supreme Court has dealt a series of disastrous blows to the Voting Rights Act, leaving it on its last leg. This coordinated attack amounts to the most serious threat to our democracy since the Civil War.
“The current assault on the right to vote reminds us that our democracy is fragile. Old battles have become new again, and congressional action is once again required to protect the sacred right to vote. As co-chairs of the Voting Rights Caucus, we understand that the time to act is now. H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would restore and update key provisions of the VRA to account for modern-day efforts to restrict the right to vote. We must pass both H.R. 4 and H.R. 1, the For the People Act which would, together, fight back against Republican-led voter suppression efforts and set national voting standards.
"Time is of the essence, and we are committed to using every tool available to us as members of this Caucus and Congress to ensure that Americans from all walks of life can exercise their fundamental right as U.S. citizens."
Reps. Veasey (TX-33), Sewell (AL-07), Scott (VA-03), Williams (GA-05) are the co-chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus (CVRC). The Caucus was created in 2016 to address the immediate need to overcome the barriers our communities face when exercising their right to vote.