U.S. Rep. Lawrence and Democratic Women’s Caucus Applaud House Passage of John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Co-Chairs Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Vice Chairs Congresswomen Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) issued the following statement on the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
“This month marks 101 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women the right to vote and marking a critical step in the fight for political equality. More than a century later, however, barriers continue to limit their access to the ballot box and systematically disenfranchise women of color,” said the Members. “In recent years, many state legislatures have actively sought to curtail voting rights, particularly for communities of color. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will help safeguard the integrity of our democracy by ensuring that all voters—including all women—can meaningfully cast their votes and make their voices heard. As we applaud the House passage of this bill, we urge the Senate to take up this critical legislation.”
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) in response to the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively gutted the Act’s preclearance provision. That provision required states and localities with a history of voting discrimination to submit to the Department of Justice any proposed changes to their voting rules for approval before those changes could take effect. In Shelby County, the Court struck down the VRA’s coverage formula that determined which states and localities should be subject to the preclearance requirement, and invited Congress to develop a new formula. H.R. 4 passed the House of Representatives on August 24, 2021, by a vote of 219 to 212 and is now being sent to the Senate for consideration.