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Nadler & Cohen Statement on SCOTUS Ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

Washington, D.C. - Today, a divided Supreme Court issued an opinion in the consolidated case of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, upholding two Arizona voting restrictions that had been challenged as racially discriminatory and, therefore, violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Chairman Steve Cohen (D-TN) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision:

“The right to vote is the bedrock upon which the foundation of our democracy is built. Every citizen deserves an equal opportunity to participate in our democracy and to elect the representatives of their choice. Today’s Supreme Court decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee significantly undermines Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act – a provision that prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in certain language minority groups. This decision makes it far more difficult to challenge policies that discriminate against Black, Hispanic, Native American and other minority voters, and in doing so elevates the argument that States’ interests in preventing voter fraud – even when there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud – outweighs the burdens these policies place on the ability of minority communities to cast a vote.  

“This opinion joins the disastrous 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Act’s Section 5 preclearance regime. In her dissent, Justice Kagan raises the alarm: ‘The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is an extraordinary law. Rarely has a statute required so much sacrifice to ensure its passage. Never has a statute done more to advance the Nation’s highest ideals. And few laws are more vital in the current moment. Yet in the last decade, this Court has treated no statute worse.’

“Congress must act where the Court has failed voters across the country. The House Judiciary Committee will expeditiously complete its work on an updated John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and move to bring legislation to the House floor as quickly as possible.”
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