Voting Rights and Democracy

RELEASE: In Huge Win for Voting Rights, Roberts Court Reaffirms that Voting Rights Act Prohibits Vote Dilution and Strikes Down Alabama’s Discriminatory Map

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Supreme Court’s announcement of its decisions in Allen v. Milligan and Allen v. Caster, Constitutional Accountability Center Director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program David Gans issued the following reaction:

For decades, the Supreme Court has held that the Voting Rights Act prohibits states from drawing maps that dilute the voting strength of communities of color.  Today, in a stunning 5-4 ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts that confounded expectations, the Court reaffirmed these precedents and struck down Alabama’s 2022 congressional map, which packed and cracked communities of color in the state to lessen their voting strength.  This is a huge win that reaffirms the Constitution’s promise of an inclusive multiracial democracy, Congress’s power to annul discriminatory maps, and the Court’s longstanding interpretation of the Voting Rights Act.

Today’s ruling does not change the law, but it marks a decisive shift toward a proper recognition of the Fifteenth Amendment’s promise of a multiracial democracy and Congress’s power to eradicate voting discrimination.  After a spate of dangerous rulings that opened the door to racial discrimination in voting, such as Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. DNC, a majority of the Court resoundingly affirmed the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee of political equality for all citizens regardless of race and the broad text of the Voting Rights Act designed to enforce the promise of racial equality at the polls.

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Resources:

Case page in Allen v. Milligan and Allen v. Caster: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/merril-v-milligan/

David H. Gans, Race-Consciousness Is Baked into the Constitution’s Text and History, CAC Blog: https://www.theusconstitution.org/blog/blog-race-consciousness-is-baked-into-the-constitutions-text-and-history/

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