Pelosi Statement on 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965:

“On August 6, 1965, President Johnson, with the stroke of a pen, signed into law one of the most monumental pieces of legislation in the history of our democracy.  After Americans marched and organized, Congress passed the bipartisan Voting Rights Act, which has stood as the guardian of every American’s right to vote for 50 years.  As President Johnson said at the signing ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, the Voting Rights Act marked ‘a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.’

“Yet, half a century later, the fight for voting rights endures.  Erecting new obstacles to the ballot box erodes the most fundamental right and responsibility of American citizens.  That’s why we must fight to restore vital protections significantly weakened by the very damaging Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision of 2013.  We must fight to guarantee the right to vote for every American and ensure that every American’s vote is counted as cast.  We must fight this Republican Congress’s refusal to call up a vote to renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

“Voting rights are vital to sustaining and strengthening our democracy – and ensuring that the voices of all Americans are heard.  Congress must live up to the promise of our democracy and act swiftly to pass a renewed, strengthened and bipartisan Voting Rights Act for the sake of our democracy and our country’s future.”