On 1 Year Anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder Decision and 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, Payne Calls on Congress to Pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act

Jun 25, 2014 Issues: Local Issues
On 1 Year Anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder Decision and 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, Payne Calls on Congress to Pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) spoke on the House floor on the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, eliminating a preclearance requirement for voting law changes under Section 5 of the Act.  Payne said that on the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which paved the way for voting rights in this country, he said an amendment to VRA is needed now more than ever. Watch the speech here.

Please find remarks prepared for delivery below:

“Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating two very different anniversaries:  50 years ago, we enjoyed Freedom Summer and the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that paved the way for voting rights in this country.

“But sadly, Mr. Speaker, 49 years later and 1 year ago today, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, saying it was outdated and unjustified.

“Mr. Speaker, since this decision, we have seen that the Voting Rights Act is needed more now than ever before. 

“From 2000 to 2013 there were a recorded 148 voting violations in 29 states, meaning 29 states have actively tried to pass laws, such as requiring a photo ID or cutting out early voting, which all limit access to the ballot.

“This is an incredible phenomenon in this country.

“We are sending our sons and daughters overseas to fight and die for freedom and democracy in other lands – yet here at home, our leaders are working overtime to limit the amount of people who can vote in our own democracy.

“That’s not America, Mr. Speaker.

“As we recognize these two very different anniversaries –it is appropriate that we examine where we have come from, and where we’d like to go as a nation.

“It’s time we pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act, of which I am a proud cosponsor, and keep fighting until voting rights are reinstated in this country.

“Thank you and I yield back.”

To learn more about H.R. 3899, and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 1945, the Voting Rights Amendment Act, click here.

 

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