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Voting Rights Act upheld by Supreme Court, in favor of Black voters in Alabama

Posted by Sara Cooper | Jun 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

On June 8th this past Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the map of Alabama had been structured under the guide of gerrymandering for voting purposes – making the impact of Black voters a dissipating contributor that matters. According to Ari Berman, a correspondent from Mother Jones, “Alabama has a Black population of 27 percent, but just one of the state's seven congressional districts is likely to elect a candidate favored by Black voters. Civil rights groups sued in 2021 during the last redistricting cycle and said the failure of the state to draw a second majority-Black district violated Section 2 of the VRA.”

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voting procedures and provisions that are based on race, color, and other components of identity, making this the foundational centerfold of the Constitution with opposing opinions of the Court's decision (written by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh) from different Supreme Court members with a 5-4 ruling. Its decision to remain intact preserves the protection of public opinion in elections to be valued and maintains protocol of discriminatory practices that are fundamentally unjust.

With the dilution of Black voters under the State of Alabama, representation of constituents' right to choose who they think would be best to lead their districts in Congress was a limited possibility, inflicting between the connection that Black Alabamians and local government to ensure their needs are met as citizens. This impacts funding for schools, public goods, and resources that anyone can utilize. Black Alabamians also make up a quarter of the state's population. The State of Alabama argued in this case of Allen v. Milligan that race was not a factor in redistricting and does not have importance here now, indicating that their intention was to leave out important votes for a marginalized community in the electoral process.

Ari Berman also mentions – “The decision on Thursday will likely have consequences far beyond Alabama. States such as Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas are already facing federal lawsuits from civil rights groups for drawing maps that diluted the power of minority voters. And it is likely bad news for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who pushed through a redistricting map that dismantled two US House districts held by Black representatives.”

For more details on what the SCOTUS Justices had said regarding this decision, please click here: https://amp.theguardian.com/law/2023/jun/08/supreme-court-voting-rights-decision-allen-milligan

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