Congress Must Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Today, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Terri Sewell, reintroduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), legislation named after the late civil rights icon that would amend and restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). 

“With the 2024 election cycle already in full swing, it’s never been clearer: all voters should have a say in the future direction of our country,” said Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. “The John Lewis VRAA will help America realize the true promise of our democracy: a government of, by, and for the people. The Voting Rights Act has a long track record of earning overwhelming bipartisan support, because protecting voting access should be a goal that transcends political divides. Campaign Legal Center strongly endorses the John Lewis VRAA.” 

Attacks on voting rights have reached a new fever pitch after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder, with the attacks growing even more persistent since 2020. In the past decade, Americans have seen cutbacks to early voting periods, new burdensome requirements to cast ballots and restrictions on the right of nonpartisan civic engagement groups to assist citizens in participating fully in the democratic process. 

Notably, the VRAA would reestablish and revitalize the important preclearance system gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder, as well as strengthen Section 2 of the VRA, which the Court has also weakened in recent years. These essential reforms will protect Black and brown voters throughout the voting process and help ensure every American can participate in our democracy.