Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the section that determines which states and counties must receive “pre-clearance” or pre-approval before changing their voting rights laws as a result of past history of voter suppression and discrimination:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate this key part of the Voting Rights Act – legislation that 98 Senators and 390 Representatives voted to extend in 2006 – is an example of judicial overreach at its worst. This decision rolls back hard-fought civil rights protections, undoes nearly 50 years of accepted law, and imperils progress even as Americans in certain counties and states face new barriers to voting. The good news is that, although the formula to determine which jurisdictions fall under the pre-clearance provision in the Voting Rights Act has been struck down, the provision itself is still intact. Consequently, I will immediately begin working with my colleagues in the Senate on a bill to establish a new formula that ensures all Americans are given an equal right to vote.
“Let this decision not be a setback; let it be a call to arms. On behalf of the generations who fought valiantly to rid our country of oppressive and racist poll taxes, we must rededicate ourselves today to the intent of the Voting Rights Act and ensure that collectively we remain committed to its goals.”