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Public Statements

Protect Voting Rights of All Americans

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, the upcoming Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder Supreme Court case presents a direct threat to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is the most effective civil rights legislation ever enacted by Congress.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed just 1 year after I graduated from high school. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, I vividly remember the days of Jim Crow, segregation, and the poll tax. Should the Supreme Court rule against the Justice Department and overturn this important legislation, minority communities will lose many of their voting protections.

Later this month, I intend to join my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to listen to the oral arguments for this case at the Supreme Court. Many of us were part of the 390-33 majority, along with 98 Senators, who voted to reauthorize the Voting Right Act in 2006. We agreed there is still a compelling need to protect and preserve the voting rights of all Americans. After all, it is this right that lies at the very heart of our democracy that must not be eroded.

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