Ahead of the Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, United For Democracy Calls For Congressional Action to Rein in the Unaccountable Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thanks to generations of civil rights leaders and organizers, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, fifty-eight years ago today. Decades later — in a 5-4 decision — the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, opening the doors for state legislatures to advance scores of voter suppression bills. In 2023 alone, 45 states have collectively introduced over 300 restrictive voting bills.
Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director of United for Democracy, issued the following statement:
“In the ten years since a bare, partisan majority on the Supreme Court gutted key protections in the Voting Rights Act, 29 states have passed nearly 100 laws aimed at suppressing the vote and undermining the political power of Black, Brown, and Indigenous voters. The Supreme Court’s latest ruling in Allen v. Milligan was a hard-won and consequential victory against efforts to suppress the voices of Black communities in Alabama, yet even in this ruling, the Supreme Court only preserved an unacceptable status quo of its own creation, while leaving itself plenty of room for further mischief.”
“We need a balanced, ethical Supreme Court that upholds the law. What we have is an unaccountable, corrupt Supreme Court that is reshaping our country based on a right-wing ideology the vast majority of Americans reject. We are uniting for democracy to protect every American’s right to the ballot, and with it, their freedom. Congress has the power to act to rein in this Supreme Court. Now is the time to use it.”
In Shelby County v. Holder, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that the Court's decision to dismantle the Voting Rights Act “when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Sure enough, in the ten years that have passed since that fateful warning, American voters–particularly Black, Brown, and Indigenous voters–have been soaked in a deluge of voter suppression. In the last decade, 29 states have passed nearly 100 voter suppression bills. One-third of those laws would have been subject to the preclearance required by the Voting Right Act and struck down by the Court.
United for Democracy is a diverse and growing coalition of more than 120 grassroots organizations, labor unions, and advocates for reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, the environment, workers’ rights and more, all representing tens of millions of Americans. The new nationwide campaign launched to educate Americans about the impact today’s Supreme Court is having on their lives, freedoms, and democracy — and call on Congress to rein in its unchecked powers.