ADL Welcomes Introduction of Essential New Legislation to Protect Voting Rights

New York, NY, January 17, 2014…The Anti-Defamation League welcomed the introduction of legislation to revive and strengthen important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA).  Last year, in Shelby County v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key portions of the VRA, essentially gutting the heart of the law.  The legislation introduced yesterday, H.R. 3899/S. 1945, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, among other things creates a new formula to determine which states and jurisdictions will have to “pre-clear” voting changes with the federal government.

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

We are very pleased to see that members of Congress have set aside their partisan differences and have come together to protect the fundamental right to vote for all Americans.  ADL has long recognized the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as one of the most important and effective pieces of civil rights legislation ever passed, protecting the right to vote for millions of citizens. 

Last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder threatened to imperil voting rights, particularly for minorities.  Although the legislation introduced today is 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 look forward to working with Congress to strengthen the bill further and to pass meaningful reform that ensures that all Americans can make their voices heard in our democracy.  We commend Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their leadership in introducing this essential legislation.

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.