01.16.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Voting Rights & Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“One year ago today, on the eve of the weekend celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, I introduced legislation to restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act that were gutted by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision.  Despite repeated efforts, not a single Senate Republican would join me in this effort to protect Americans from racial discrimination in voting.  House Republicans refused to act, failing to even allow a hearing on this fundamental issue to our democracy.  While mounting evidence continues to demonstrate that racial discrimination at the polls exists, Republicans have retreated from their historic commitment to protect every Americans’ right to vote.  

“I could not be more disappointed by these responses, but I remain committed to fighting for this issue.  On the 50th anniversaries of the March in Selma and the enactment of the Voting Rights Act, we must renew our efforts to ensure that all Americans are treated equally.  In this new Congress, Democrats and Republicans must come together to reintroduce a bill that will restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act.”

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