(Washington, D.C.) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Tuesday. The legislation will revive a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, which was immobilized in the disastrous 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder ruling and allow for federal review of discriminatory voting laws and practices, ensuring that millions of voters, particularly Black and other communities of color, have access to the ballot box, free from discrimination.
The following are statements from experts at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
Damon Hewitt, president and executive director: “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will ensure that communities of color secure their voice in our democracy, achieve equal representation in our federal government, and protect our collective voting power from partisan attacks. Much like the initial 1965 Voting Rights Act, this is transformative legislation that will keep our nation committed to realizing its ideal of a fully inclusive democracy for years to come. It is imperative that the U.S. Senate quickly take up and pass this legislation.”
Kadeem Cooper, policy counsel: “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act targets discriminatory laws that are pervasive, persistent, and antithetical to democracy. The law will provide the Department of Justice with renewed authority to block discriminatory voting changes and protect disenfranchised groups. With this law in place, civil rights organizations will also have clear legal avenues to challenge voting laws that undermine access to the ballot, giving communities of color a chance to be heard in court.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.