Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after a minority of Republican senators blocked the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:
“In the 56 years since Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, bipartisan majorities have come together to extend and strengthen the law to protect every American’s fundamental right to vote,” said Bennet. “Today a partisan minority dishonored that legacy by obstructing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, urgent and bipartisan legislation to guard against the insidious wave of voter suppression across our country. As long as our democracy remains at risk, we must find a path forward for this legislation and the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure that every American, no matter where they live, can easily cast their ballot and be heard in our great democracy.”
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:
- Restores and strengthens Section 2 and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which were seriously undermined by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich vs. the Democratic National Committee.
- Restoring Section 2 restores the legal tools to enforce the nationwide, permanent federal prohibition against racially discriminatory voting changes, allowing plaintiffs and the Justice Department to bring lawsuits that deny or abridge the voting rights of minority voters.
- Restoring Section 5 requires federal preclearance for certain changes to voting laws and procedures and blocks changes that restrict the right to vote.