Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 4 of the Act defines which states and jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination must obtain "preclearance" approval under Section 5 of the Act before implementing a change to any voting practice or procedure. While Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act remains poised to protect the rights of millions of American voters who have been historically disenfranchised, Congress will need take action for these protections to remain in force.
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court has dealt a blow to one of the most powerful tools in a democracy -- the right to vote. At a time when many states are making it more difficult to vote with each passing election, I'm disappointed that today's decision did not reflect the important role of the federal government in protecting these rights. Now, unfortunately, the guaranteed civil liberties of millions of voters are in jeopardy. I plan to work with my colleagues in Congress on legislation to make sure that all people will continue to have access to this fundamental right.
"And while today's news is a setback for all those who have carried the voting rights banner, the fight on behalf of all those who wish to exercise their rights at the ballot box does not end here. From Seattle to Selma, and everywhere in between, today we must recommit ourselves to promoting equality and justice across our great nation."