Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement in response to the decision by the Supreme Court of the United State today in Shelby County v. Holder to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:
"I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. This ruling is not only a major setback for civil rights and voting rights, but it is a major blow to basic fundamental democracy in this country. It's now up to Congress to work together, reach across the aisle, and share the responsibility in protecting one of our most sacred and fundamental rights. Access to the ballot on Election Day may be one of the only times that the most disadvantaged in our communities have an equal voice regardless of what they look like or where they come from. A vote at the ballot box transcends gender, race, religion, or socio-economic status. Knowing that an 80-year-old veteran, a single mom, or an 18-year-old high school senior voting for the first time has an equal vote, and thus an equal voice, as a millionaire or billionaire is what has separated us and made our nation great. Now more than ever, Congress must rise above partisanship and create free and unfettered access to the ballot."