Serrano Expresses Disappointment with Supreme Court Decision on Voting Rights Act

José M. Serrano

June 25, 2013

(New York, NY) - Senator José M. Serrano expressed his profound disappointment with the Supreme Court's recent decision to eliminate a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Section 4(b).  This section of the law was used in determining which states and counties required close federal monitoring to help prevent suppression of minority voting.   

"Today's decision overturns important legal protections that were a key achievement of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. By striking down the formula for preclearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act, the Court has rendered the entire preclearance requirement useless. Section 4(b) was instrumental in ensuring that formerly oppressive states and localities act justly and fairly in their election law changes. The decision to strike down the law weakens our democracy and upends important practices that have been vital in ensuring equality among voters.

"The right to vote for all Americans is the cornerstone of a truly representative government. Unfortunately, today's ruling means that many Americans who were once protected by this important law will now be vulnerable to discriminatory practices. We cannot allow this ruling to set us back. We've seen efforts across the country aimed at disenfranchising voters, mainly in communities of color. The Voting Rights Act and federal oversight were designed to combat this disenfranchisement and ensure the rights of all communities. My hope is that Congress will act quickly to correct this catastrophic error by the Supreme Court."