Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

Congresswoman Sewell Acknowledges the Third Anniversary of the Shelby Decision and the Failure of Congress to Restore the Vote

Jun 25, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Terri Sewell acknowledges the three-year anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision. On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This action removed the coverage formula for determining which states would require federal preclearance before enacting laws that would affect any aspect of the voting process.

“The Shelby decision has had a devastating effect on the democratic process by diminishing access to the ballot box. In 2015, I introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act that provides a modern formula for determining which states should be required to preclearance voting changes. The bill would require federal enforcement of states with a track record of suppressive voting practices over the last 25 years. Fourteen states including Alabama have had five or more violations of voter discrimination in the last 25 years. This shows the urgent need even now for federal enforcement of voting practices. Last week, I was joined by 180 democratic colleagues in signing a discharge petition calling for an immediate vote on this legislation.

On this third anniversary of the Shelby decision, we must recommit ourselves to protesting the right of every American to vote. Voting is not a partisan issue, it is an American issue. Every American deserves the right to participate in a fair voting process free from suppressive voting laws. We must remain vigilant in our insistence that we restore the VRA. I pledge to continue this fight and ask my Republican colleagues to join me.