Today, the United States Senate failed to reach the supermajority threshold needed to overcome the filibuster and open debate regarding the Freedom to Vote Act, a critical piece of federal voting rights legislation.
In response, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:
“It is both disappointing, but sadly not surprising that the United States Senate has once again failed the American people by refusing to move forward debate on critically needed voting access legislation. Tonight’s vote reflects the cynical, refusal of Republican Senators to put the health of our democracy and the rights of every citizen to participate in the political process ahead of partisan advantage.
“Now that this vote has stopped debate on the bill from moving forward, it must be clear that the filibuster is not a workable Senate rule. And no Senate rule can take primacy over the constitutional rights of American citizens to vote. The filibuster in particular has been used to stymie civil rights legislation for a century. Its pernicious nature is now clearly on display at a moment of peril for our entire democracy. The time is now for Congress to take action. We are once again in the middle of an election season marred by the passage of voter suppression laws in states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas that are targeted at reducing the power of Black and Brown voters in the wake of the historic turnout in 2020. Only Congress can put an end to these attacks on our democracy, and it is imperative that the filibuster – a procedure that has long been used to impede progress on civil rights – not stand in the way of protecting the right to vote for all Americans.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook