ACLU Comment on Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

August 24, 2021 6:45 pm

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WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, upholding its constitutional responsibility to ensure due process, equal protection, and the right to vote without discrimination based on race.

This legislation would address the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision halting the preclearance process and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee decision compromising the ability to challenge discriminatory voting laws in court. This year alone, more than 400 discriminatory anti-voter bills have been introduced in 48 states. These bills erect unnecessary barriers for people to register to vote, vote by mail, or vote in person.

Christopher Anders, deputy political director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said:

“The U.S. House of Representatives today took an important step towards securing the promise of democracy for all Americans. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, dedicated to the legacy of the late civil rights hero John Lewis, would restore the preclearance regime gutted in the latest Supreme Court decisions and expand access to the ballot box for millions of Americans.

“Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to act. There is no reason why any Senator, Republican or Democrat, should even consider voting against this legislation when the entire history of the Voting Rights Act has been bipartisan. The Senate should come together and pass this bill quickly enough to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act for voters in time for next year’s elections.

“If any senator throws obstacles in the way of the bill passing, the Senate should remove those obstacles, even if it means changing the rules. This bill must be on President Biden’s desk this year. There is a clear and present threat to our democracy and we must act now.”

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