Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder that invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act:
"Every person, no matter their gender, race or creed, should have equal access to the ballot box. As a free nation, we have a moral responsibility to remove obstacles and make it easier -- not harder -- to cast a ballot.
"I'm disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to gut a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Today's ruling is a setback for our nation's civil rights and undermines the core principles our country was founded upon.
"Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act has protected the right to vote for millions of Americans and has been approved time and time again on a bipartisan basis. In 2006, Congress reauthorized the law by a 390-33 vote in the House and 98-0 in the Senate, later being signed into law by President George W. Bush. Unfortunately, just five conservative justices today rolled back the Voting Rights Act's longstanding protections.
"While I wish laws like the Voting Rights Act were no longer necessary, the fact remains that instances of voting discrimination and intimidation still exist today. Indeed, even Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, stated that "voting discrimination still exists, no one doubts that.'
"Congress must act quickly to restore longstanding protections for voters to ensure that a fundamental part of our democracy -- the right to vote -- is not infringed upon."