On June 24, 2021, Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, testified before the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, critical legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act and respond to future efforts to suppress the vote.
The House considers this measure at a time of crisis for American democracy. Legislatures across the country are moving to enact curbs on voting, proposing and passing laws that uncannily target people of color. The VRAA would restore the strength of the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by the Supreme Court with its 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. The VRAA would modernize the Voting Rights Act’s coverage formula and do so in a way reflecting the Supreme Court’s strictures.
Any future legislatures that seek to enact racially discriminatory voting rules would find their actions subject to the strictest of legal scrutiny. The VRAA would work in tandem with H.R.1, the For the People Act, which would set national standards and preempt existing discriminatory state laws. The VRAA is vital to restoring the promise of equality in representation in our democracy.