For those who take seriously the role of the federal courts in making sure our nation lives up to its promises of democracy and equality, President Biden’s choice of Myrna Pérez for the Second Circuit is thrilling.
We live in dangerous times, with access to the ballot under coordinated attack at a scale not seen within the lifetimes of most Americans. This is why we have courts: to uphold our rights against such assaults. Protecting the right to vote is fundamentally consistent with the nature of federalism, the text of the Constitution, and the purpose of our nation’s voting rights laws.
It is a bedrock component of those things. A judge must recognize that the right to vote is the lifeblood of our liberties, without which our Constitution and our civil rights laws cannot survive.
Myrna Pérez put it like this when asked to discuss her views of the law with the Senate Judiciary Committee:
The right to vote keeps us free. It protects us from tyranny. It is preservative of all other rights.
Indeed, Pérez has been a freedom fighter throughout her adult life, dedicating her career to protecting every American’s right to vote. For the past 15 years, she has done this at the Brennan Center, where she leads their nationwide voting litigation and research programs. Over the years, when targeted communities have come under attack by some new voter suppression scheme, they have turned to Pérez for help. She has made their fight her own.
Just ask the people of Indiana. As told in a new PFAW video, when the state legislature devised a plan to purge voters from the rolls in a way prohibited by Congress, Pérez went to bat for them by going to court. Just last month, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was persuaded by her arguments and ordered the state not to put its purge into effect.
She has a vision of the law that recognizes the paramount nature of voting rights. She sees its preeminence in the nation’s constitutional structure, and she well knows how much Congress has done to protect that right from those who have historically found any number of ways to take it away while pretending to the contrary. She will take seriously her role to interpret all of our country’s laws fairly and without bias, including those laws that enshrine the right to vote as central to our democracy.
Tell your senators: We need Myrna Pérez on the Second Circuit. Add your name at pfaw.org/confirmmyrna.