Warren Joins Leahy and 47 Senators in Introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and 44 other senators, to introduce legislation to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act (VRA) and stop widespread attempts at voter suppression. The legislation – the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – is in honor of the late Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights movement, and updates legislation introduced in the last Congress.
“Eight years ago, the conservative Supreme Court ripped out key parts of the Voting Rights Act -- opening the floodgates wider for voter suppression. We can’t let Republican-led states continue to attack the right to vote, and that’s why my colleagues and I are fighting to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We must fight racial discrimination in voting and restore key voting protections that John Lewis fought and bled for in the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” said Senator Warren.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s damaging Shelby County decision in 2013 – which crippled the federal government’s ability under the 1965 Voting Rights Act to prevent discriminatory changes to voting laws and procedures – states across the country have unleashed a torrent of voter suppression schemes that have systematically disenfranchised tens of thousands of American voters. The Supreme Court’s more recent Brnovich decision earlier this year delivered yet another body blow to the Voting Rights Act, by making it significantly harder for plaintiffs to win lawsuits under the landmark law against discriminatory voting laws or procedures.
Senators Warren, Leahy, Durbin, and Blumenthal were joined by 44 Senate cosponsors: Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is endorsed by the following leading civil rights organizations: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
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