Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Marking Six Years Since Shelby County v. Holder Decision
Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Terri Sewell and House Democrats for a press event on the need to protect voting rights, six years after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much Terri Sewell for your strong, strong leadership on behalf of the United States of America. As we go forward to this next period of time, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we want to celebrate liberty and justice for all. And that means everyone having access to vote.
It was a few years ago that many of us stood on the steps of the Supreme Court when they heard the arguments in the Shelby versus Holder case. The Black Caucus led the way for us that day. And then a few years later, a short time later – that day, by the way, I think it is interesting to note, my colleagues, that day, we went to the steps of the Supreme Court to speak out for voting rights in our country. And then we crossed the street, came to the Capitol and dedicated a statue to Rosa Parks that would appear in the Capitol of the United States.
Our Republican colleagues did not see any challenge to their conscience to think that if they are honoring Rosa Parks, they should be joining us in the arguments before the court. But they did not.
But, nonetheless, the court came down with its decision in 2013. Today, we mark the sixth anniversary of Shelby v. Holder, a most unfortunate decision.
John Lewis will speak next, our champion, our hero, our icon. He was part of writing that bill that they struck, parts of it, down. He was part of when we stood on the steps, as Terri Sewell said, we came down those steps in a bipartisan way with overwhelming support in the House and in the Senate for the Voting Rights Act. I walked down with Senator Frist, the Majority Leader at the Senate at the time.
And yet, the court said we did not have a strong enough constitutional basis, so here we are. I want to join Terri Sewell in commending the groups that are here with us, all of our Members who are here and you will be hearing from some of them. This is very important. This is about patriotism for America. It is about the right to vote, the sacred privilege ordained in our Constitution, hard fought for, amended into law. Do not let them take away from us the legitimacy of America.
And we have no stronger champion in that regard and no deeper inspiration, no stronger fighter for all of that than the distinguished gentleman from Georgia, Mr. John Lewis.
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