WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the 57 Member Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), issued the below statement following the release of the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee decision in which the majority of justices upheld Arizona’s restrictive voting rules. Brnovich serves as one of the most significant and disappointing voting rights decisions since the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision. SCOTUS had an opportunity to protect our freedom to vote at a critical moment in our nation’s history. Yet, the Court has enabled lawmakers to create and enforce additional voting barriers for marginalized populations nationwide. This decision seems ill-considered at best and Constitutionally suspect in its most favorable light.
Certain states continue to pursue nefarious practices to make it more difficult to vote. Accordingly, many Black voters—some of whom live in states deliberately crafting racist voting policies—will continue to face barriers while attempting to vote in local, state, and federal elections. Governments are no longer forcing Black Americans to determine the number of jellybeans in a jar to cast our votes, but the goal of suppressing votes remains the same.
“The U.S. Supreme Court decision is another attempt to disenfranchise American voters. The CBC, the conscience of the congress, will not be silent, and we will use every legislative avenue we have to pass H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to strengthen our voting laws and expand ballot access for eligible voters. We will work tirelessly to educate all voters.
Make no mistake, this is an intentional attack on Black voters. As we have witnessed, our votes hold a tremendous amount of power and influence and have been the deciding factor in national, state, and local elections. Voting rights have been a longstanding priority for the CBC and we will not stop advocating for equitable voting rights until our community’s voice is heard on every level of America’s voting system. This is Our Power and Our Message!”