Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Note: Today, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 47 other senators announced the introduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – a bipartisan bill “to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, end the scourge of minority voter suppression, and help preserve the legacy of John Lewis – one of America’s greatest civil rights heroes.”
America lost a giant last week with the death of Rep. John Lewis. There is no better way to honor him than by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act immediately.
The last presidential election was the first in 50 years without full Voting Rights Act protections in place. We can’t afford another in which the basic right to vote – which John Lewis called practically sacred – is denied to Black and Brown people. This bill is an essential first step – and only a first step – towards achieving his vision and honoring his enormous contributions to our nation. The kind words offered after the passing of this civil rights icon are meaningless – actually, worse than meaningless – if they are not coupled with action.