On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the formula used in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional.
Washington, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) issued the following statement today on the fifth anniversary of the landmark Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court 5-4 decision, which gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
“In the five years since the decision in Shelby, some of our worst fears have been realized. States have taken advantage of the leeway given to them to implement voting practices and procedures that bear disproportionately on the voting rights of minority populations. These range from restrictive voter registration procedures to polling place closures to purging of voter rolls to onerous voter identification requirements. And these are only the actions we know about. The loss of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act also meant the loss of notice of insidious acts of voter suppression and an opportunity to stop them before they took effect. Now, as much as ever, we need robust statutory protections of the right to vote.
“Today, we call on Congress to take overdue action to restore the Voting Rights Act, particularly in the wake of widespread voter suppression efforts that we have seen across the country.”
In order to ensure that all eligible voters are able to exercise their rights at the ballot box when faced with challenges to voting, Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee, will have the 866-OUR VOTE (866-687-8686) Election Protection hotline live on all Primary Days and on Election Day in November. The hotline is available year round for voters to ask questions and to report suspected voter suppression activities.
For more information on Shelby, please click here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.