Urge the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would boldly confront a hostile threat to American democracy: the right-wing majority in the Supreme Court.

The House version of the legislation has passed. Now, it’s up to the Senate to abolish the filibuster and get this bill to President Biden’s desk.

In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the court gutted preclearance, a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Preclearance requires that states exhibiting a pattern of racist voting rights violations submit their electoral rules for federal approval before roll out.

The bill, introduced in the House, would unequivocally strike down voter suppression tactics that target voters of color and reintroduce the preclearance requirements for attempts to:

  • Decrease turnout in young minority voters
  • Introduce redistricting laws in racially diverse areas
  • Reduce polling place hours
  • Reduce polling place locations
  • Enact restrictive voter registration and identification laws
  • Limit access based on language

If passed, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act would not only reverse the court’s harmful decision in Shelby County, but also undo a slew of other rulings by the highest court that created discriminatory barriers to the ballot box. With the current 6–3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court, it’s wholly up to Congress to swiftly pass this ambitious legislation and shield our democracy from further attacks.

Another critical component of the bill is the inclusion of provisions from the Protect the Youth Vote Act, which would protect the rights of young voters by increasing transparency and more clearly defining actions that violate the 26th Amendment.

However, this transformative voting rights bill is unlikely to pass the Senate unless the Democratic majority agrees to abolish the filibuster — an obsolete relic of the Jim Crow era that Mitch McConnell has abused to block most major progressive legislation.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act has the potential to restore faith in our democracy. We can’t allow needless obstruction to block this critical bill.

Tell your senators to abolish the filibuster and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.