Kennedy Joins Leading Civil Rights Activists on Voting Rights Act Reauthorization as House Votes
"As we all know, there's been a revolution in civil rights since the 1960's, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a major part of it. I've been proud to be part of the great battles in Congress from the beginning, and we've been vigilant to protect the Voting Rights Act ever since.
We extended the Act in 1970 and 1975, and again in 1982, when we extended it for 25 years, thinking the temporary provisions might not have to be renewed again if the record showed enough progress.
We now know that's not the case. In several months of hearings in the Judiciary Committee, we've heard compelling evidence of the continuing need for federal oversight.
At a hearing earlier today, we heard testimony about the discrimination against Latinos in Texas which led to the Supreme Court's recent decision in LULAC v. Perry.
Just yesterday, a federal judge in Georgia blocked for a second time the state's attempt to impose a photo identification requirement for voting. The court found the law was an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote of minorities, the poor, and the elderly.
These aren't outdated examples from the 1960s. They're happening now, in the 21st century.
The House has acted. It's time for the Senate to complete the job."