Statement from Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, re: Today's White House Meeting on the Voting Rights Act:
Earlier today, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett held a meeting with civil rights leaders as well as state and local elected officials at the White House to discuss strengthening the Voting Rights Act and safeguarding every eligible American’s right to vote.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act last month, the National Urban League's position has been and remains that we will encourage Congress to abandon party lines and act in the best interest of our nation and our democracy by enacting a new and responsible formula for Section 4.
We were pleased during the meeting today with the President and key members of his administration to hear and to see that the Supreme Court's decision does not indicate the end of collective and concerted efforts to protect democracy and to end voting discrimination, particularly where it has been historically prevalent. Last week, the Attorney General took a critical step with his announcement at our 2013 National Urban League Conference that the Justice Department would ask a federal court in Texas to require the state to go through a preclearance process based on evidence of intentional racial discrimination presented last year in the state's redistricting case.
Today, the President and Attorney General reaffirmed their commitment to enforce the Voting Rights Act and to use its remaining provisions to ensure that the right to vote is secured for millions of Americans. We will be there every step of the way in partnership to see this through.
Just as we will stand our ground against unequal justice, we will continue to stand our ground against any corrosion of the foundations of our democracy, and expressly, efforts toward voter suppression.
As we prepare to gather in Washington, D.C. on August 23-24, there can be no celebration of progress until we ensure a continuation of the very equality and opportunity that are at the core of this nation.