Legislative Alert | Civil Rights

Letter Supporting Beginning Debate on John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I am writing to urge you to vote yes on the motion to proceed to debate on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S.4). This bipartisan legislation offers a flexible nationwide approach to protecting our nation’s citizens from discriminatory voting practices and restores the ability to mount effective legal challenges to anti-democratic voting changes.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is an important step toward restoration of the fundamental voter protections undermined by the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder and its 2021 decision in Brnovich v. DNC. The bill also includes the Native American Voting Rights Act (S. 2702), which protects voters who live in Indigenous communities and face unique election challenges to participation in our democracy.

For more than half a century, federal efforts to protect citizens from voting discrimination has been bipartisan. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 would not have passed without leadership from both political parties, and Republican presidents signed each Voting Rights Act reauthorization into law. Chief Justice Roberts himself said in the 2013 Shelby decision, “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that.” And, since then, we have witnessed a whole new rash of blatant voter suppression efforts that demand a bipartisan federal response.

The right to vote is fundamental to full participation in our democracy. Senators with ideas about how best to ensure this right should welcome the opportunity to debate their proposals on the Senate floor. We urge you to vote for cloture on the motion to proceed to debate on The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act so you can consider the vital issues that are fundamental to our democracy and our nation’s future.

William Samuel
Director, Government Affairs