SCOTUS Rulings on Voting Rights & Nonprofit Disclosure Make Clear Congress Must Pass For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President

Today’s Supreme Court rulings on voting rights and nonprofit financial disclosure make clear that there is no alternative but to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect our democracy. The high court struck another blow against voting rights today and also made it more difficult for states to monitor fundraising by “dark money” nonprofits. Now it falls to Congress to protect the freedom of every American to vote without being subject to intimidation or discrimination regardless of the color of their skin, their background, or their zip code.

The Roberts’ Court had an opportunity to protect our freedom to vote but instead made clear that it will not protect the rights of voters. The Court’s ruling in Brnovich v. DNC frees legislatures to continue ramming through a new generation of Jim Crow laws – like those already enacted in Georgia and Florida – to keep many Americans from the polls. Without swift action from Congress, GOP-controlled state legislatures will continue to pass racist anti-voter laws to pick and choose who votes and who doesn’t. Until Congress acts, there is little to stop the bills introduced around the country to cut weekend voting, trim early voting, dramatically reduce the number of polling places, and get rid of drop boxes.

The Court also had an opportunity to reaffirm the freedom of states to monitor fundraising by nonprofit organizations for compliance with state laws, including “dark money” groups that raise and spend unlimited money in politics. Instead, in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, the Court declared unconstitutional a California law requiring nonprofits to disclose major donors to the state. But this was not a campaign finance disclosure case, and campaign finance laws remain constitutional and vitally important despite the Court’s decision today.

We must come together to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to establish national standards that will reverse the discriminatory anti-voter laws and prevent future attacks on our freedoms so that every American can make their voice heard at the polls, and to strengthen campaign finance disclosure laws. It is time for Congress to act and pass this legislation that reflects the will of We the People. Our democracy depends on it. Failure is not an option.