ADL: Voting Rights Amendment Act Critical to Protecting Fundamental Right to Vote for All

New York, NY, June 25, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee welcoming its hearings on the Voting Rights Amendment Act and expressed strong support for the proposed legislation.

In its testimony, ADL emphasized that passage of the pending Voting Rights Amendment Act is “critical to enforcing the constitutional prohibition on racial discrimination in voting and protecting the fundamental right to vote for all Americans.”

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unquestionably one of the most important and successful pieces of civil rights legislation ever passed.  In the almost 50 years since its passage, the VRA has helped to safeguard and secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Its success in eliminating discriminatory barriers to full civic participation and in advancing equal political participation at all levels of government is undeniable.

One year ago today, however, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the VRA, essentially gutting the heart of the legislation. Since then, states and local jurisdictions all over the country have moved to restrict voting rights and effectively disenfranchise voters, particularly voters of color.  In fact, the United States has not seen such a major legislative push to restrict voting rights since after Reconstruction.

Although not perfect, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 promises to go a long way towards restoring crucial voting rights protections of the VRA. We strongly welcome the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearings on the bill and urge the House to take action. The legislation is critical to ensuring that all Americans can make their voices heard in our democracy.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.