Statement: Latest Ruling Further Undermines Voting Rights Act, Marginalized Voters
Today, Robert Brandon, our president & CEO, issued the following statement on the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee:
"We are deeply troubled and disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling today in Brnovich v. DNC, which undermines one of the strongest remaining protections against voting discrimination embodied in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). Today’s decision makes it harder to challenge and defeat in court laws that disenfranchise the most vulnerable Americans, particularly Black and brown voters, and other marginalized groups, at a time when many states are aggressively pursuing discriminatory and unfair policies that make it harder to vote. We call on Congress to immediately enact the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure that every eligible American can exercise their right to vote no matter what they look like or where they come from.
Brnovich, an appeal of a challenge to several restrictive laws passed by Arizona, focused on Section 2 of the VRA, which has served as a critical protection against voting discrimination, particularly after the Court gutted the VRA in their 2013 decision, Shelby County v. Holder. In that case, the Court immobilized VRA’s preclearance protections, which prevented discriminatory policies and practices like Arizona’s from going into effect before they could taint the voting process. Like with Shelby, in this opinion, the Court acts as if the effort to suppress the votes of people of color no longer exists. That decision was followed by a flood of voter suppression laws. With Brnovich, the Court has further undermined the VRA’s once-strong protections against discrimination in voting."