CAPAC Members Commemorate the 57th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Aug 5, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow marks the 57th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, landmark legislation which prohibited racial discrimination at the ballot box. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements in recognition of this anniversary: 

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“On August 6, 1965, our country made a promise to uphold the notion all are created equal when President Johnson signed the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. This landmark law further strengthened the concept of “one voice, one vote,” ensuring every American would have the constitutional right to participate in our democracy. However, in 2013, the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision gutted key provisions of this law, opening the doors for rampant voter suppression efforts nationwide. Fifty-seven years after the enactment of this law, we continue to see unprecedented attacks on the ballot box — which disproportionately impact communities of color, including AAPI communities — and it is imperative that we in Congress continue to do everything we can to protect this fundamental freedom.”

CAPAC First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06):

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965, that was signed into law fifty-seven years ago, ensured that every American’s right to vote was protected by law. This landmark bill allowed for millions in the Black community to register to vote over the next few years and exercise their right to vote. However, the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision stripped major parts of the law, and has since allowed additional obstacles to be enacted that prohibit communities of color from accessing the ballot box. Working to safeguard the bedrock of our democracy is a never ending fight.”

CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“Tomorrow marks 57 years since the enactment of the Voting Rights Act, a monumental piece of civil rights legislation that reflects our country’s commitment to democratic ideals and our desire to represent the voices of all Americans. On this anniversary, we celebrate the constitutional promise of democracy as well as the millions of Americans who have been fighting for decades to make that promise a reality. Unfortunately, 57 years after the legislation’s enactment, the fight against voter suppression continues. This year alone, 12 states have introduced or pre-filed 96 bills that would create additional barriers to the ballot box. This egregious affront to our democratic principles reminds us of the work we must do to protect voting rights, including by signing into law the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which passed the House last year. It is important now more than ever that we confront these threats to American democracy and restore Americans’ right to vote.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“Saturday marks the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. There have been so many giants who have dedicated their lives to passing and expanding the right to vote and we honor them today. Now, it is our responsibility to continue this fight and push back against the misinformation and voter suppression bills we are seeing that disproportionally impact voters of color. The right to vote is sacred and we must protect it.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“Today, we celebrate the 57th anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It ensured that every American has a fundamental right to vote and have their voice heard through the ballot box. But since the disastrous 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision gutting the VRA, voter suppression has run rampant, inhibiting marginalized communities from exercising their right to vote. On this historic day, I will keep working with my colleagues in Congress to fight voter disenfranchisement and safeguard our democracy.

Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-38):

“Today we celebrate the 57th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark law that expanded voter protections and prohibited discrimination at the polls. Generations of Americans from diverse backgrounds fought, bled, and sacrificed greatly to exercise their right to vote. Sadly, right-wing courts and Republican state legislatures have been working to undermine this hard-won right. I was proud to join my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to help pass both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act, two bills that protect and expand upon the freedoms enshrined in the Voting Rights Act. We will continue to fight back against any attempts to erode equal access at the ballot box.”

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Fifty-seven years ago, the Voting Rights Act was enacted, a landmark achievement that prohibited racially discriminatory practices in our election system. In the years since, the Supreme Court struck down critical components of the Voting Rights Act and states across the country moved quickly to pass laws that would restrict the sacred right to vote. Voting is at the very center of our democracy, and we must put strong laws in place that make it easier – not harder – for every person across the country to make their voice heard. Today, on the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, we renew our calls to end the undemocratic filibuster so that we can pass meaningful voting rights legislation that will protect and expand our sacred right to vote.”