Press Releases

Conyers: Supreme Court’s Ruling in Shelby County v. Holder Undermines Critical Protections in Voting Rights Act

Washington, DC, June 25, 2013

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. In a 5-4 decision, the Court overturned the coverage formula for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, stating that, "Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions." ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released this statement following the decision:

“I am disappointed in the today’s Supreme Court decision.  While I am encouraged the Court upheld the preclearance requirement of Section 5, its decision striking the coverage formula in Section 4 will do real damage to voting rights absent a swift and clear congressional legislative response.  It is unfortunate the Court ignored Congress’ unprecedented and comprehensive legislative findings in reenacting the Voting Rights Act in 2006 on an overwhelming and bipartisan basis. Today’s decision missed an opportunity to reinforce the important role that the federal government has in ensuring that all Americans have an equal right to access the ballot box and have their votes count.  I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected.”