A Pivotal Lawsuit About Voting Rights

Eric Holder
William Anderson
October 23, 2020

The Voting Rights Act was the realization of a HUGE demand for change. Martin Luther King, Jr. was present when President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law. Its goal: to target discriminatory barriers that prevent us from voting. But in 2013, another change came.

Shelby County, Alabama sued to invalidate a key part of the Act: Section 4. This section identified jurisdictions with a history of discrimination.

On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that the Act was unconstitutional! This started a legal unraveling process that hasn’t yet ended.

Since the Shelby ruling, there’s been a huge increase in voter suppression targeting Black people. Since 2010, 25 states have passed new voter restrictions! 

Voter ID laws, purged voter rolls, and closed polling locations have flooded in, wreaking havoc. It may get worse, too.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases that could destroy what’s left of the Voting Rights Act. New lawsuits could enable more discrimination with no protections for Black people at all. A bad situation could get worse.

Fights like these show why the Supreme Court has too much power. This unelected body has already allowed increased racist discrimination and is poised to do so again. Who says justices that decide to curtail Black voting have the right to do so in the first place?

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