CAPAC Members Commemorate the Ninth Anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder

Jun 27, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Today, on the heels of the ninth anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder — a decision which ruled two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 unconstitutional — members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) renewed their commitment to defend our communities’ right to vote. CAPAC members released the following statements:

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

“Nine years ago, the Shelby County v. Holder decision legitimized modern attempts to further gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — ruling Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, taking away critical protections for voters and throwing the doors wide open to efforts to suppress the vote across the country. Communities of color — particularly AANHPI communities — are often the first to feel the sting of weakened protections, and, as a result, face disproportionate barriers to participating in a fundamental right bestowed upon us as American citizens. The right to vote is the keystone of our democracy and along with my fellow CAPAC members, I remain committed to doing everything in our power to ensure every eligible American has unrestricted access to the ballot box. I am urging the Senate to pass critical voting legislation — such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which passed the House last year — to further ensure we are protecting our right to vote.”

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

“The Shelby County v. Holder ruling, decided nine years ago, has provided some states the opportunity to restrict access to the ballot box. This decision weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by removing some of its most important protections for voters and allowed voter suppression bills to run rampant throughout statehouses across the nation. Everything from stricter voter ID laws to completely closing polling stations and the disenfranchisement of communities of color, youth and the elderly has been attempted since these enforcements were taken away almost a decade ago. The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy which is why it is critical that the Senate approve voting rights legislation to protect the foundation of our country. We must continue to fight against any effort to deny Americans access to their fundamental right as citizens.”

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

“After the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court case nine years ago, we have seen voting rights come under fire, with certain states implementing laws that have restricted access to polls across the country. These laws have particularly impacted communities of color, making it more difficult for people to partake in electoral processes. The right to vote is a key pillar of American democracy and should be protected at all costs. Every American should have equal access to the ballot, regardless of their race. That’s why I will continue to advocate for equal access to the ballot. To ensure a functioning democracy, Americans must stay committed to the principle of one person, one vote.”

Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Since then, states have enacted discriminatory policies which disenfranchise voters in minority communities. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. We must do everything we can to protect the vote and ensure easy access to the ballot box.”

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Nine years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that protected against discriminatory voting practices in states that historically suppressed the vote. In the aftermath of Shelby County v. Holder, many of these same states enacted restrictive legislation that would make it harder for people to vote, disproportionately effecting people of color, and other marginalized communities. The right to vote is the most sacred right of our democracy, and it is imperative that we safeguard and expand this right for every person across the country. The House last year passed two pieces of legislation, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which now sit in the Senate. On today’s anniversary, we must renew our calls for the Senate to end the filibuster and pass these bills to ensure that every American has equal freedom to make their voices heard. The very soul of our democracy is at stake.”