Congressman Cohen Presides at Hearing to Strengthen the Voting Rights Act
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, today presided over a hearing on legislative proposals to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. This was the seventh in a series of hearings, including one held in Memphis on September 5, to examine current voting discrimination and legislative solutions such as the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA). The VRAA would restore the pre-clearance provisions of the original act Voting Rights Act and strengthen its protections.
In his opening statement, Congressman Cohen said:
“The right to vote is the right that guarantees all other rights in our democracy. Unfortunately, the right to vote of African Americans and other members of racial and language minorities has been threatened and undermined throughout our nation’s history. The Voting Rights Act – with an effective preclearance provision – went a long way towards righting that wrong. But, sadly, since the effective neutering of the preclearance provision, voting rights for minorities once again is under sustained assault in many parts of our country.” See Congressman Cohen’s entire opening statement here.
See Congressman Cohen’s questioning of witnesses here.
At the start of the hearing, Congressman Cohen took the time to remember his friend and colleague Elijah Cummings who passed earlier today. See Cohen’s statement on Mr. Cummings here.