U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) issued the following statement today:
"At the heart of a functioning democracy is the right of every citizen to cast their ballot and to have their vote counted as part of a free and fair system of elections. For several decades, the Voting Rights Act has played a central role in protecting and preserving this right for millions of Americans who otherwise could be disenfranchised. I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court's narrow 5-4 decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act today. This ruling marks a significant step backward in our ongoing efforts to protect the voting rights of every American and ensure that all citizens are treated equally under the law."
"This Congress has been one of the most divisive and dysfunctional in recent memory, but this issue is more important than any short-term political considerations. Congress has a solemn responsibility to come together in a bipartisan fashion to pass legislation that will restore critical protections in a manner consistent with today's decision and ensure that all Americans are guaranteed their constitutional right to vote."