Washington, D.C. – Today, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.14) has been reintroduced by U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL). The bill would restore and expand the Voting Rights Act, reinstating the federal “preclearance” requirement that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013 – ensuring that the federal government has the necessary tools to address discriminatory voting practices nationwide. In response, Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is key in preserving democracy, full stop.
“A decade after the Supreme Court gutted ‘preclearance’ protection in the Voting Rights Act, more than half of U.S. states have passed over 90 laws that make it harder to vote for communities of color, in particular. This is a massive step backward and a troubling sign for our country.
“Without this legislation, we risk further entrenching anti-democratic, partisan forces that want to choose their own voters. But that’s not how our system should work.”
“We need good, bipartisan support of common-sense voting rights legislation. This legislation is what this moment requires – and a tribute to the towering influence the late Rep. John Lewis had in shaping civil rights in our country. We must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act immediately.”