Shelby v. Holder Ruling Continues to Undermine Voters of Color, Underscores Need for Right to Vote - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Shelby v. Holder Ruling Continues to Undermine Voters of Color, Underscores Need for Right to Vote

We need more tools to make elections free and fair.

Washington – Advancement Project, a national civil rights and racial justice organization, released the following statement on the fourth anniversary of the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court ruling, which gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act:

“In the years since the Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, a flurry of jurisdictions have passed measures erecting barriers between people and their vote,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s National Office. “Without the VRA’s protections against racially retrogressive laws, the bulk of these measures are aimed specifically at keeping Black people and other communities of color the ballot. It is a disgrace to see our national leaders misdirecting the public with false claims about the integrity of our elections. Elections should be free and fair, and we should spend our efforts ensuring that every eligible voter can make themselves heard. Last week, members of Congress yet again introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would reinstate certain protections of the Voting Rights Act. This is commendable. Still, we should not have to rely on the political process to ensure that all people have a voice in our democracy. At heart, these issues underscore the need for a definitive, long-term solution: an affirmative right to vote.”

“While we call for definitive measures to protect the vote, we also commemorate important victories fueled by the voting rights movement in the states,” said Edward A. Hailes, General Counsel and Managing Director at Advancement Project. “From Virginia to North Carolina and beyond, grassroots organizations like New Virginia Majority are boldly continuing the work started generations before ours. We move forward in full awareness of our obstacles, and inspired by movement leaders in the past and the present.”

“While organizations like Advancement Project have successfully proved the racially discriminatory intent behind suppressive voting laws like North Carolina’s, we need more tools to make elections free and fair,” said Donita Judge, Co-Director of Advancement Project’s Power and Democracy Program. “Since before our country was founded, there have been individuals doing their best to keep Black people from voting. That goes against what our democracy stands for. We should coalesce around what works, increase citizen participation, remove barriers to voting, and affirm our right to vote.”

“In states like Missouri, it is impossible to separate the rise in Black power fueled by the Movement for Black Lives from attempts to curtail the voices of people of color at the ballot box,” said Denise Lieberman, Co-Director of Advancement Project’s Power and Democracy Program. “We should honor these movements, a most American form of improving democracy, by making it easier – not harder – to vote and enact change.”

In a 5-4 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, the Court struck Section 4 of the VRA in 2013. By doing so, the Court threw out the formula determining which states should be required to submit any changes to voting laws to the federal government for review, based on their troublesome histories of racially motivated voter suppression. The majority ruled that the “preclearance” formula was outdated, and tasked Congress with writing a new set of rules. Now, four years later, Congress has failed to do so.

Since the Shelby County ruling, states have passed new laws that impose barriers on the right to vote – from limitations on when and where voters can register and vote, to burdensome photo ID requirements. Many jurisdictions have also made shifts in election administration, including closing and relocating polling sites – often in communities of color.

###

www.fsaproject.wpengine.com

Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.

KEEP READING

New PSA Unveil: Why Georgia Ministers are Mobilizing their Communities for Voting Rights

We are excited to unveil a new PSA around SB 202, Georgia egregious voter suppression law

Read More
National Civil Rights Org: Florida’s New Jim Crow Law Will Not Stand

Senate Bill 90 is a full-frontal assault on the political power of Black and Brown Floridians. Florida politicians are advancing baseless claims of fraud and abuse as an excuse to eliminate voting tools and procedures that enabled Floridians to vote safety and securely during a public health crisis.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Passage of Florida Voter Suppression Bill

Yesterday, Florida’s state legislature passed Senate Bill 90, a monster voter suppression bill aimed at reducing access to the ballot box for Black and Brown voters.

Read More
Democracy on the Ropes

On April 7, 2021, Advancement Project National Office hosted Democracy on the Ropes, a special conversation with voting rights and racial justice leaders, on the intersections of voter suppression and the criminalization of protest. Held during the National #ForThePeople Week of Action, panelists explored how states have attempted to silence communities of color at the ballot box and in the streets. At least 43 states have advanced legislation making it harder to vote. In the last six months, states have also introduced 85 bills criminalizing freedom of assembly and restricting First Amendment. Speakers highlighted the organizing strategies, litigation and tools…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Passage of Georgia Voter Suppression Legislation

CONTACT Jeralyn Cave [email protected] 202-921-7321 On Thursday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a massive voter suppression bill limiting the use of drop boxes, requiring ID to vote-by-mail, and allowing the state legislature to takeover local election boards. The bill comes on the heels of record turnout during the 2020 presidential election in which Black and Brown communities braved 8-hour wait times to vote during a global health pandemic. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st century racial justice organization released the following statement. “We vehemently condemn the move by Georgia legislators to silence the voices…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Applauds Introduction, Urges Passage of S. 1 to Protect Voting Rights of Communities of Color

MEDIA CONTACT Jeralyn Cave [email protected] 202-921-7321 WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate introduced S. 1 – the For the People Act of 2021—a pro-democracy piece of legislation that aims to protect and strengthen access to voting, blunts the influence of dark money in politics and establishes anti-corruption measures for government. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st century civil rights and racial justice organization released the following statement. “Right now, at least 43 states have advanced legislation making it harder to vote on the heels of a historic election that saw record voter turnout,”…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Celebrates Expansion of Voting Rights to Virginians on Probation and Parole

Gov. Northam announced that Virginia will restore the voting rights of those on probation and parole automatically upon the completion of their sentence of incarceration.

Read More
Voting Rights Advocates Release New Report on Felony Disenfranchisement & Poor Reentry Supports in Mississippi

The report uplifts data & the lived experiences of returning citizens impacted by the state’s inadequate reentry resources, and inefficient process for regaining the right to vote.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Celebrates Passage of For the People Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives historically passed H.R. 1 – the For the People Act – a pro-democracy piece of legislation that protects and strengthens access to voting, blunts the influence of dark money in politics and establishes anti-corruption measures for government. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st century civil rights and racial justice organization released the following statement. “By passing H.R. 1, the House of Representatives voted to create a more inclusive democracy—one in which Black and Brown voters have equal access to the ballot box and have an equal…

Read More