08.24.21

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Pass John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today voted in support of H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, to restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court decisions of Shelby County v. Holder in 2013 and Brnovich v. DNC in 2021. 

This votes comes amid an unprecedented state-level effort to restrict the right to vote. According to a Brennan Center for Justice report, as of July 14, 2021, 18 states had enacted 30 laws that restrict the right to vote since the beginning of this year.

“Voting is a sacred right and at the core of our democracy and yet, the Supreme Court decisions weakening the 1965 Voting Rights Act have enabled state legislatures across the country to undermine the right to vote,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Make no mistake: attacks on the right to vote are attacks on the rights of communities of color, young people, elderly people, and low-income communities.

“Passing H.R. 4 is a critical step to ensure that voting remains a fundamental right and to uphold the legacy of my dear friend and colleague, Congressman John Lewis. Congresswoman Sewell, our House leadership, and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been steadfast in our commitment to bring this to the floor for a vote. Now, we must keep pressure on the Senate to ensure it makes its way to the President’s desk for his signature.”

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore protections of the VRA gutted by the Supreme Court and once again prohibit states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination from restricting the right to vote by including an updated formula for determining which states and localities are subject to federal oversight. It would also amend Section 2 of the VRA to eliminate the heightened standard for challenging voter discrimination that the Supreme Court created in its decision in Brnovich v. DNC.

To watch Congresswoman Lee’s remarks in support of H.R. 4, click here.