Read a PDF of our statement here.

Yesterday, despite the growing threats to constitutional democracy in the United States and the waning amount of time left for the Congress to address threats to voting rights through legislation, both chambers of the U.S. Congress began a planned week-long recess.

In response, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:

“There is no time to waste. It is critical that the Senate pass the strongest possible versions of both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Instead, by placing its recess schedule ahead of advancing this critical legislation, and by doing so while many state legislatures are actively advancing egregiously gerrymandered and unrepresentative redistricting maps designed to disempower large majorities of the electorate — especially voters from Black and other communities of racial minorities — Congress has set this country on a collision course with our democratic destiny.

“Simply put, there is no time left for delay.

“We must face the truth: our democracy is in crisis. The Senate has had months to act on legislation that would protect the right to vote for Black voters, advance voter participation and end gerrymandering, and to do so in a bipartisan manner — as it did in 2006, when the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized by a vote of 98 to 0. Now the Senate must do whatever is necessary — up to and including canceling further recesses and carving out an exception to the filibuster — to protect the right to vote, the cornerstone of our democracy. The fate of democracy in this country hangs in the balance.”


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.