Press Release

ADL to Congress: Set Aside Partisan Differences and Come Together to Protect Voting Rights

New York, NY, July 17, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Congress to act swiftly and decisively to revive crucial voting rights protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and to ensure every American citizen has an equal right to vote.

The League submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, welcoming today’s hearings as an important first step towards restoring voting rights protections for all Americans.  In 2006, after very extensive hearings, Congress extended the VRA for another 25 years; however the Supreme Court recently struck down a key provision of the act in Shelby County v. Holder.

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

For almost 50 years the Voting Rights Act has helped to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, or national origin, can exercise their constitutional right to vote.  Last month, the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key provision of the VRA threatened to undo much of the progress we have made on voting rights.

Congress now has the opportunity, and indeed the imperative, to restore the crucial protections of the VRA.  We urge Congress to set aside partisan differences and come together to protect the voting rights of all Americans.  Congress must act swiftly and decisively to ensure that all citizens can participate fully in our democracy.

The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important and effective civil rights laws ever passed.   We are committed to ensuring that the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County does not spell an end to the progress we have made over the last 50 years.  We are heartened to see that the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken the first steps towards restoring the critical safeguards of the VRA, and we look forward to working with Congress to protect voting rights for all.

ADL joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in the filing of an amicus brief in Shelby County.