Clyburn Statement On Shelby County v. Holder Decision

Jun 25, 2013

WASHINGTON— Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn released the following statement on today’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder:

“Although I am not surprised, I am deeply disappointed by the Court’s decision today—the 15th Amendment specifically grants Congress the power to ensure that no American is denied the right to vote, and the Supreme Court is wrong to interfere with that Congressional prerogative.  The Voting Rights Act has been the single most important tool to protect the right to vote over the last half century.  All the way up to the present day, the preclearance requirement has prevented egregious infringements on the franchise, and today’s decision frighteningly opens the door for underhanded schemes to reduce the electoral power of minority communities. 

“Today’s decision makes it clearer than ever that we must never waver in our commitment to protect this sacred right.  And while I starkly disagree with the Court’s opinion, I also view it as a call to action.  Chief Justice Roberts specifically stated that Congress may pass another law to restore the Voting Rights Act to full strength.  This work begins today.

“When Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006, we did so with overwhelming bipartisan majorities—245 Republicans, 241 Democrats, and 2 Independents voted to extend the provisions of the law.  I stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact an updated version of the law so that we can continue to ensure that no American is denied the right to participate in our democracy.  What was true in 2006 remains true today, and I am confident that we will able to work, as we did then, in a bipartisan manner to preserve the Voting Rights Act.  American voters will expect no less."