Today, Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Section 5 while striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as part of its Shelby v. Holder decision:
“In 2006, the House of Representatives moved to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 390-33. Today, the Supreme Court voted to gut the Act, 5-4.
“The Voting Rights Act is a cornerstone of the civil rights movement and a critical tool in preventing minority disenfranchisement. By helping secure the right to vote, the Voting Rights Act has served as an important vehicle for democratic progress.
“During oral arguments we heard Justice Antonin Scalia say that this legislation, passed repeatedly by the Senate and the House with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, is nothing more than a ‘racial entitlement.’ Voting is not a racial entitlement; it is an entitlement for every eligible voting-age citizen. Voting is an American entitlement, and I am beyond disappointed to see the Supreme Court strike down vital voting rights protections contained in the law.
“Over time, voter suppression tactics have become more sophisticated but have not disappeared. Whether it is unfair voter ID laws or barriers to voter registration, we still witness attempts every election cycle to selectively disenfranchise portions of the electorate. We still need to fight back.
“I remain committed to working with my colleagues to secure the right to vote for all Americans. The Voting Rights Act has an important place in our history, but we should not be lulled into complacency by our successes. The movement for equal rights continues, and now Congress must act to secure voting rights for all.”