(WASHINGTON) –The NAACP released the following statements in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

From Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors:
“This decision has the potential to set voting rights back more than fifty years,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “It is especially unsettling in a year when we commemorate Medgar Evers, a man who gave his life to expand and protect the right to vote. But in the spirit of Medgar, who said 'You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea,' we will stand our ground and bring this debate to Congress.”

From Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP:
“This decision is outrageous. The Court’s majority put politics over decades of precedent and the rights of voters,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Congress must resurrect its bipartisan efforts from 2006 to ensure that the federal government has the power to preemptively strike racially discriminatory voting laws. Without that power, we are more vulnerable to the flood of attacks we have seen in recent years.” 

Jealous continued, “While Section 2 is powerful after the fact, we must have a tool to protect against stolen elections proactively.”

From Kim Keenan, General Counsel, NAACP:

"The Supreme Court's ruling in Shelby sets the stage for a fight to ensure that people of color are not turned away from the ballot box using modern pretextual devices like photo identification. Section 5 is the reason why minority voting is up. Until we demand a fix for this problem, equal rights under the law and a fair vote will be no more than a promise to millions of voters."

From Jotaka Eaddy, Sr. Director for Voting Rights, NAACP:
"Today's decision puts Congress in the center of the battle for voting rights in our nation,” said Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Senior Director for Voting Rights.  “While the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate section 4 is a setback, it is not the end of the fight. It is time for all Americans to take this fight to Congress and ensure that every vote is protected.  Our democracy demands it."

On February 27th, 2013, the NAACP and thousands of activists from across the country rallied outside of the Supreme Court to urge the Supreme Court to protect voting rights for all citizens and uphold Section 5.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

Text VOTE to 62227  to get the latest on the NAACP’s fight to protect voting rights across the nation.

< View All Press Releases