Civil Rights

Like all Vermonters, Senator Leahy believes that all people should be treated with dignity and fairness.  He is an outspoken advocate for civil rights, constantly fighting to ensure that no person is discriminated against because of their race, religion, economic status, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Senator Leahy has long championed legislation to protect the right to vote, to expand federal protections to all Americans regardless of who they love, and to enact commonsense reforms to criminal justice and sentencing laws that unfairly impact some Americans.

Following the Supreme Court’s harmful decision in Shelby Counter v. Holder that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Senator Leahy responded by holding two hearings on the need to fully restore this critical piece of legislation. Additionally, he introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which if enacted would have restored some of the most critical protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.