Today Congressman John B. Larson, Chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, released the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. The Court's decision strikes down the formula within the Voting Rights Act that determines which states and municipalities with past instances of discrimination must be required to seek approval of changes in voting laws that may affect minority populations, effectively ending the Act's ability to require that approval:
"While the Voting Rights Act has been instrumental in empowering voters across the nation, it's no secret that discrimination continues to hamper our electoral process. This week, the Supreme Court chose to disregard the bipartisan will of Congress by striking down a key piece of the Voting Rights Act, which passed with near unanimous support only six years ago. Representative John Lewis could not have put it better when he said the Court stuck a dagger into the heart of this crucial act.
"Rather than strengthening the right of all Americans to cast a ballot and participate in their democracy, the Supreme Court has decided to weaken protections and leave some citizens more vulnerable to abuse. I am heartened by Representative Eric Cantor and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who previously led the Voting Rights Act's reauthorization, and hope all Members mirror their willingness to work bipartisanly on this issue and come together as they did in 2006 to stand up for the American people and reaffirm our commitment to the Voting Rights Act.
"In the wake of this disastrous decision I plan to redouble the efforts of the Task Force on Election Reform to determine how Republicans and Democrats can work with each other to put back together what the Supreme Court has broken."