A day after announcing plans to step down, Attorney General Eric Holder sought to assure the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that the fight to protect voting rights —a top priority of Holder’s tenure — will endure.
“We will continue this fight until all Americans have equal access to the ballot box — no matter who they are or where they live,” Holder said.
In an interview with msnbc’s Joy Reid minutes earlier, Holder sounded the same theme, saying his commitment to voting rights issues was shared by President Barack Obama, and that his own departure would have no impact on the administration’s approach.
Speaking to the CBC, he pledged that, “As we look toward the future of this work — and seek new ways to advance this struggle — the Justice Department will remain determined to use every tool at our disposal to secure the rights of every citizen.”
Holder cited voting rights lawsuits filed by the Justice Department in North Carolina and Texas, as well as supportive briefs filed in Ohio and Wisconsin. All four of those states have imposed significant voting restrictions in recent years. After the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in June on 2013, Holder shifted resources within the Justice Department to put greater focus on the law’s key remaining provision.
Holder also took the chance to highlight the issue of voting rights for Washington, D.C., residents — a cause dear to many CBC members — referring to the “more than 600,000 taxpayers who, like me, live in the District of Columbia and still have no voting representation in Congress.”