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Statement from Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell on the Voting Rights Act and the Shelby County, AL v. Holder case


Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-07) released the following statement about the Shelby County, AL v. Holder case that will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow at 10 am EST:

"As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in the Shelby County, AL v. Holder case, I am deeply concerned about the erosion of voting rights that sadly still exist in our state and in this nation. This case, which originates from Shelby County, Alabama, will determine the fate of certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which was passed as result of the Selma to Montgomery march. Ironically, the state that was the impetus for this legislation now threatens the very protections that law affords.

No right is more fundamental than our right to vote and the Voting Rights Act still remains the single most important legislation that ensures it. Now more than ever, the legal protections that ensure the participation of minorities are under attack. With state voter identification laws, discriminatory redistricting practices, and efforts to limit voting hours, there still exists a need to prevent voter disenfranchisement and suppression. Prior to the 2012 presidential election, over 180 restrictive bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country signifying the overwhelming need for federal oversight. Congress acknowledged this unfortunate but ongoing necessity when it overwhelmingly reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 after more than 21 hearings and over 15,000 pages of supporting evidence. It is my hope that the Supreme Court will examine all the facts, apply the law, and rule in favor of ensuring that all Americans can vote without intimidation, prejudice or discrimination."

Congresswoman Sewell will join Members of Congress, civil rights leaders and organizations on the steps of the U.S Supreme Court and speak at Protect the Voting Rights Act rally tomorrow at 9 am EST.

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