Statement by President Joe Biden on the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee
I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court that undercuts the Voting Rights Act, and upholds what Justice Kagan called “a significant race-based disparity in voting opportunities.”
In a span of just eight years, the Court has now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – a law that took years of struggle and strife to secure.
After all we have been through to deliver the promise of this Nation to all Americans, we should be fully enforcing voting rights laws, not weakening them. Yet this decision comes just over a week after Senate Republicans blocked even a debate – even consideration – of the For the People Act that would have protected the right to vote from action by Republican legislators in states across the country.
While this broad assault against voting rights is sadly not unprecedented, it is taking on new forms. It is no longer just about a fight over who gets to vote and making it easier for eligible voters to vote. It is about who gets to count the vote and whether your vote counts at all.
Our democracy depends on an election system built on integrity and independence. The attack we are seeing today makes clearer than ever that additional laws are needed to safeguard that beating heart of our democracy. We must also shore up our election security to address the threats of election subversion from abroad and at home.
Today’s decision also makes it all the more imperative to continue the fight for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and expand voting protections. The Court’s decision, harmful as it is, does not limit Congress’ ability to repair the damage done today: it puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength.
That means forging a coalition of Americans of every background and political party – from advocates, activists, and business executives – to raise the urgency of the moment and demand that our democracy truly reflects the will of the people and that it delivers for the Nation.
That is what Vice President Harris and I will continue to do.
This is our life’s work and the work of all of us.
Democracy is on the line.
We can do this together.