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  • Writer's pictureEqual Ground

Voting Rights Advocates Applaud Landmark Supreme Court Decision to Protect the Voting Rights Act and

SCOTUS Upholds Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

WASHINGTON – Plaintiffs in voting rights cases across the country today celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Allen v. Milligan, declaring that Alabama diluted the power of Black voters by drawing a single congressional district in which Black voters made up the majority. The decision came after months of collective work by grassroots organizers, advocates, lawyers and community members who came together to stand for freedom and equal and fair maps.

“This case represents a step in the right direction and we are committed to continuing the fight to protect and preserve democracy,” said Ashley K. Shelton, president and founder of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice.

“We are no doubt pleased in the ruling and encouraged to continue the work our ancestors began long ago,” [said]. “We also remain dedicated to the work before us and convinced in the prospect for change, not because of one court’s decision but because the arc of the universe bends towards justice.”

“We will continue to challenge unfair and inequitable policies at the local level and to organize our communities to turn out to vote because Black and brown votes do matter. We also have a responsibility to advocate for all in our community who are harmed by inequitable and unfair maps,” said Jasmine Burney Clark, executive director of Equal Ground in Florida.

Fairly drawn district lines directly impact communities’ future, determining who represents them and what resources they get – including funding for schools, parks, libraries, hospitals and social services – for at least the next 10 years.

This year marks 10 years since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, highlighting the significance of this moment and parallels in the fight for justice now vs. a decade ago and nearly 60 years ago. Additionally, 2023 marks 58 years since ‘Bloody Sunday,’ where civil rights foot soldiers were beaten and some killed in pursuit of the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed just weeks after the bloody assault.

“Our ancestors and their allies withstood extremely tumultuous times, and we have proven that we can not only withstand the challenges before us but overcome them,” said Andrea Mercado, executive director of Florida Rising. “It is important for people to understand that we have power when we work together and when we can win if we fight back.”

The Alabama case sets the precedent for redistricting cases that would have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court from Louisiana, Georgia and a separate case testing the Independent Legislature Theory in North Carolina. The plaintiffs are encouraged by the decision, but encourage marginalized communities and allies to continue to resist through active participation in demonstrations and legislative hearings, ongoing education on voting laws, and voter registration and turnout.

“Even in the face of great danger and the loss of lives, our people resisted and prevailed over a host of voter suppression tactics and redistricting maps that made it harder for communities of color to elect candidates of choice,” said Prentiss Haney, co-director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. “Today is no different. We are committed to continuing the work that our ancestors began decades ago.”



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