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Maloney Votes to Restore the Voting Rights Act in Honor of Rep. John Lewis

Aug 24, 2021
Press Release

Maloney Votes to Restore the Voting Rights Act in Honor of Rep. John Lewis

Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) voted to pass H.R. 4, The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This landmark legislation will reinstate the full power of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), which was gutted by the Supreme Court in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision and more recently in the 2021 Brnovich v. DNC decision. Rep. Maloney is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

“In America, the right to vote is the most sacred and fundamental right we have as citizens. But for nearly a decade, that right has been under attack as voter suppression laws have swept through state legislatures. Today, I was proud to vote to pass this bill to restore the Voting Rights Act in honor of Congressman John Lewis – a towering figure in the struggle for equality. We must continue the work of civil rights icons like Mr. Lewis and once again guarantee the most fundamental right of our democracy," said Rep. Maloney.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most consequential laws Congress has ever enacted. Prior to the Shelby County decision, the Voting Rights Act had been an unqualified success.  It helped reduce discriminatory barriers to voting and expanded electoral opportunities for people of color to federal, state, and local offices, thereby opening the political process to every American. 

Immediately after the Shelby County v. Holder decision – in the absence of preclearance requirements, which the Shelby decision had gutted – a number of states swiftly passed voter suppression laws.  The passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act comes amidst an unprecedented coordinated effort to restrict the right to vote at the state level. In just the first six months of 2021, more than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states. At least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote.

Among its key provisions, H.R. 4 would:

  • Prohibit states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination from restricting the right to vote.
  • 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.