Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s Statement on the Third Year Anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder Decision
Dallas, TX - (Saturday, June 25, 2016) - Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson issued the following statement in observance of the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling:
“Three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. This ruling weakened voter rights protections for millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “We still continue to see discriminatory voting laws and restrictions throughout the country. New voting restrictions have been put in place in 22 states, including Texas, making it harder for millions of Americans to exercise their right to vote. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that new restrictions are disproportionately in states with recently high African American voter turnout and increased Hispanic population growth.”
“The Shelby decision reversed 50 years of progress we’ve made in increasing access to the ballot box for all Americans,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “ It is clear that three years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act is three years too long. The Voting Rights Act is the most successful piece of civil rights legislation in history. We in Congress have an obligation and the responsibility to address this threat on voting rights with federal legislation that will restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.”
In Shelby County v. Holder Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged the ongoing persistence of voter discrimination and invited Congress to come up with a new coverage formula based on current conditions. Two bipartisan bills in Congress would do so, but Republican leaders in the House and Senate have refused to allow a vote on either.