Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement upon the Supreme Court taking up the case of Shelby County v. Holder, which calls into question Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the law's key provisions. Section 5 requires states with a history of voting discrimination to seek approval from the federal government before making any changes to voting laws.
"For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has served as one of the fundamental pillars of our nation's democracy. Yet, today, the Supreme Court will begin hearing a case that could overturn the critical protections included in this law.
"Last year we saw a concerted effort to make it harder for Americans to vote. Those who were involved claimed they were fighting "voter fraud', even though there was zero evidence of any fraud. It's a shame that so much time, energy and money is wasted on a non-existent problem, especially when the fraud that actually exists is the construction of false barriers at the polls.
"Real fraud is forcing people to choose between getting a paycheck or waiting in line all day to vote. Real fraud is telling communities that in order to exercise their right to vote, they need a form of identification they may not even have. Real fraud is the disrespect these actions show to each and every American.
"The Court should reject this challenge to Section 5, which helps guarantee the civil liberties and rights of millions of voters. We can't afford to turn back the clock on voter rights."