Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Representing the 8th District of New York

Jeffries: Supreme Court Decision Turns Back Clock On Voting Rights

Jun 25, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Hakeem Jeffries released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States struck a portion of the Voting Rights Act in the landmark case, Shelby County v. Holder:

“It is disheartening that the Supreme Court of the United States has taken such an unjust step backwards by deeming parts of the historic Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.  This law was enacted in 1965 to uphold the principle of equality for all and safeguard the most basic right of an American citizen: the right to vote.

We are not far removed from the great struggle that people of color faced in this country just five decades ago in order to attain fair and equal representation based on citizenship, not the color of their skin.  This decision undermines the progress that has been made since the Jim Crow era and ignores continued efforts to disenfranchise voters of color. 

Congress must act immediately to limit the potential damage of this wrong-headed Supreme Court decision.  The right to vote is fundamental to the integrity of our democracy and must be zealously protected.  With its decision, the Supreme Court failed the nation.  For the sake of our democracy, Congress must not."

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Congressman Jeffries represents the eighth district in Brooklyn and parts of Queens.  Prior to this decision, the entire Brooklyn portion of his Congressional district was covered by the Section 5 pre-clearance provision.  Earlier this year, Congressman Jeffries signed onto an amici curiae in the case of Shelby County v. Holder to defend the constitutionality of the law.

In February, he co-hosted a Congressional Black Caucus Special Order Hour on the House Floor to support the Voting Rights Act.  His remarks and video can be found HERE.