The Brennan Center released the following statement on today’s D.C. Circuit decision upholding Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.
“Decades ago, our nation passed the Voting Rights Act to combat rampant discrimination in voting. Following a year that has seen the biggest rollback of voting rights in a generation, the Voting Rights Act is more important than ever. Today’s decision upholding the constitutionality of that law is an important victory for democracy,” said Wendy Weiser, Democracy Program Director at the Brennan Center for Justice. “America has made great progress toward guaranteeing the fundamental right to vote for all eligible citizens, and the Voting Rights Act has played a critical role in that progress. It is an important bulwark against efforts to turn back the clock to an era when unfair laws and practices prevented too many of us from participating in our democracy.
“Instead of rolling back voting rights, lawmakers should focus on improving our voting system and increasing access to the polls. Yesterday, members of Congress introduced the Voter Empowerment Act, a federal bill with common-sense reforms to our election system, including much-needed steps to modernize our voter registration system. We call on members of all political parties, in Congress and in the states, to support reforms that help Americans vote rather than misguided efforts to roll back the clock on voting rights.”
Read more on the Brennan Center’s voting rights efforts at our Election 2012 page.
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