Rush Statement on the 54th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Aug 6, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) issued the following statement honoring the 54th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

“The right to vote is sacred, and especially so to minority and historically disenfranchised communities, who did not fully realize that right until relatively recently.

“It was not until the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that racial discrimination was prohibited at the ballot box and the guarantees outlined in the 14th and 15th amendments were fully realized.  Prior to the passage of this landmark legislation, African-Americans and other minority groups were often subject to literacy tests and poll taxes in order to exercise this essential constitutional right.

“Unfortunately, Americans’ right to vote remains under siege by entities both foreign and domestic.  From the unprecedented Russian interference into our democratic elections, to the blatant forms of voter suppression taking place in places like Georgia and North Carolina, our sacred right to vote is constantly under attack.

“One of the most significant attacks came six years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down critical provisions of the VRA, essentially gutting key protections created by the legislation.  Although the Court may think that the country has changed, those who have experienced voter suppression first hand would likely beg to differ.

“For these reasons, I will continue to fight for our sacred right to vote and call on all my colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, a bill I am proud to cosponsor.  This bill, among other things, would correct the egregious error made by the Supreme Court and restore a fundamental right that is essential to a thriving democracy — something that generations of Americans have fought and died for.”