Today Rep. Terri Sewell introduced the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House. The bill, H.R. 14, would restore and revitalize the Voting Rights Act of 1965, strengthening protections for voters of color against racial discrimination in voting and representation.
Michael Waldman, president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following reaction:
“We urge the swift passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We have needed this bill for a decade. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the nation’s most effective civil rights law, until the Supreme Court gutted it in 2013. This measure would modernize the law and restore its strength so it can once again provide full protection for American citizens at the ballot box.
“It is urgently needed. State legislators are imposing needless restrictions on voting, laws that burden voters of color more than white voters. The gap in voter turnout between white and nonwhite Americans has been growing. And those trying to sabotage our elections use racist conspiracy theories as their fuel.
“The House and Senate should act. This was long a bipartisan goal. The last time the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized, in 2006, it gained 98 votes in the Senate. Protection of voting rights was a proud legacy of both parties, and it should be again.
“Together with the Freedom to Vote Act, this bill is needed to shore up protections for voting rights and democracy in America.”
Brennan Center Resources
- Fact Sheet: The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (Sept. 2023)
- “Pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” (Andrew Garber, Sept. 2023)
- “Georgia’s Racial Turnout Gap Grew in 2022” (Sara Loving and Kevin Morris, July 2023)
- “10 Years After SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights Act, Alabama Turnout Gap Is Worse” (Coryn Grange and Kevin Morris, June 2023)
- Voting Laws Roundup: June 2023
- Racial Turnout Gap Grew in Jurisdictions Previously Covered by the Voting Rights Act (Kevin Morris, Peter Miller, Coryn Grange; Aug. 2021)
- Hearing on Oversight of the Voting Rights Act: Potential Legislative Reforms (Wendy Weiser Congressional Testimony, Aug. 2021)
- Hearing on Oversight of the Voting Rights Act: A Continuing Record of Discrimination (Wendy Weiser Congressional Testimony, May 2021)
- Strengthening the Voting Rights Act