In a speech on Friday announcing the hiring of more attorneys at the Justice Department to protect voting rights, Attorney General Merrick Garland called the right to vote “the cornerstone of our democracy.”
MERRICK GARLAND: There are many things that are open to debate in America, but the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow. In introducing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, President Johnson told the Congress, quote, "It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote."
In signing the 1982 reauthorization of the act, President Reagan stated, quote, "The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished." And in signing the 2006 reauthorization, President Bush stated that the right of ordinary men and women to determine their own future lies at the heart of the American experiment.