Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had this reaction to the action in the Senate tonight:
“Tonight the Senate majority supported vital voting rights legislation. Yet the minority party obstructed this urgent bill using Senate rules to block needed action. This is wrong.
“Senators who say they support the voting rights bill but refuse to let it pass are in fact opposing this measure. Unless we restore the Senate and let the majority prevail, the Voting Rights Act remains gravely weakened. Phony audits will continue. Election officials will continue to face threats. Racial discrimination in voting can worsen.
“In some ways this is the oldest American story: the move to deny Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American citizens their chance to fully participate. Yet in some ways this is a new story: new laws that attack election officials and seek to change who counts the votes, all driven by Donald Trump’s Big Lie.
“If Congress cannot act because of a broken Senate, and federal courts refuse to protect voting rights, then states will have an open invitation to abuse the rights of their own people. It is folly to think that these laws in the states are as bad as it can get.
“The Brennan Center and our allies will challenge anti-democratic state laws in court. We’re holding state officials accountable for protecting voting and elections. And we will continue to work towards federal legislation to defend democracy against the Big Lie.”
Related Brennan Center resources
- “Voting Laws Roundup: December 2021” (includes statistics on pre-filed bills for 2022), Jan. 12, 2022
- “Debunking False Claims About the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” Jan. 13, 2022
- “Why Voting Rights Isn’t (Usually) Bipartisan” by Michael Waldman, Politico, Jan. 13, 2022
- The Election Sabotage Scheme and How Congress Can Stop It, Nov. 8, 2021
- Redistricting: A Mid-Cycle Assessment, Jan. 19, 2022