WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement in advance of the Independence Day holiday, July 4, 2023.
“This Fourth of July marks the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence – a revolutionary document that decried tyranny and defended liberty. Today, as our nation grapples with renewed threats to hard-fought rights and freedoms, and unprecedented challenges to democratic norms and values, we must recommit ourselves to working together to create a ‘more perfect union,’ as our founders envisioned.
“If history teaches us anything, it is that democracy works best when we are all engaged. Despite recent attempts to sow seeds of mistrust in our democratic institutions and in our electoral system, we as a country have come together to protect the rule of law and protect constitutional rights.
“Last year, Democrats, Republicans, and independents came together in a bipartisan Senate working group that I was proud to join that led to congressional enactment of the Electoral Count Reform Act. This legislation strengthens our democracy by putting in place mechanisms to help ensure a peaceful transfer of power, which after the January 6th insurrection, we learned we cannot take for granted. Last December, we came together to protect marriage equality with the passage of the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act – an important step forward on our unfinished march for civil rights and equal justice under the law. And last June, after the Uvalde elementary school shootings, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, to help keep guns out of the hands of individuals who should never possess them. These efforts highlight that there is more that unites us than divides us and when we come together as Americans, we can meaningfully address the issues that matter.
“There is more work to be done, however, to ensure that the American dream is extended to future generations. When women are denied the fundamental right to bodily autonomy in vast swathes of the country and do not have full equality in the Constitution, when LGBTQ+ Americans face renewed attacks on their identity, when Black history is erased from school textbooks, and when voting rights are being restricted instead of expanded, we know that we still must work to create a more just and inclusive nation.
“If we are to make real the promises of America for all our citizens and defend the ‘inalienable rights’ to which all are entitled, we must continue to stand up and make our voices heard. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue working with my colleagues to seek bipartisan solutions to strengthen our democracy and safeguard fundamental rights.
“In the words of a great Marylander, the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, ‘Where[ever] you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’
“To my fellow Marylanders and all Americans: This Fourth of July, let us work together to strengthen our union and extend America’s promise to all.”