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Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Allen v. Milligan. The court upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down an Alabama congressional map because it discriminated against Black voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Michael Waldman, president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and author of The Supermajority: How the Supreme Court Divided the Country, had this reaction:
“Today’s ruling vindicating the rights of Alabama voters is a huge victory for civil rights and a welcome surprise. The Voting Rights Act is one of the country’s most effective civil rights laws. This decision will ensure that voters of color can continue to use Section 2 to assure their equal opportunity to participate in elections, in Alabama and around the country.
“In this instance, the Supreme Court’s embrace of established precedent seems to have heard the public’s outcry over its radical rulings. We should all demand decisions from this court that uphold democracy and advance racial justice.”
Kareem Crayton, senior director in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, had this reaction:
“Today’s decision affirms the Congressional support and judicial principles that gave rise to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Communities of color in this increasingly diverse country need assurance in the law that their right to be fairly represented in government can come from the courts when legislatures fail to follow the law. Despite the Court’s efforts of limiting the use of litigation to address discriminatory districts, this opinion reflects a fulsome application of precedent — which affirms the view of a unanimous district court.”
“Make no mistake: today’s ruling still leaves us with a weakened tool of enforcement. Ten years ago, this court ended the most effective part of the legislation, preclearance, and in 2021, made it very hard to use Section 2 to challenge suppressive discriminatory voting rules.
“Congress can and should step in to protect fair access to voting and representation for all. Our legislators must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.”