Target: The U.S. Supreme Court
Goal: Uphold a law protecting against voter discrimination
A challenge to the Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of civil-rights era legislation protecting the rights of minority voters, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court later this month. Although it has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times, the law faces another attack amid questions of its Constitutionality and current relevance. The section under challenge, which forces parts or all of sixteen states with a history of voter discrimination to get election-related changes cleared by the federal government, is a needed and important insurance policy for minority voters in America. The 2012 election saw extensive attempts at voter suppression, and the Supreme Court needs to realize this laws continued relevance before potentially undoing much of the progress that minority voters have seen in the past 50 years.
In 2006 the House voted 390-33 and the Senate voted 98-0 to extend the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years, with George W. Bush signing it into law citing the continued need for protection against racial discrimination. But six years later, a more conservative and radical GOP has enacted numerous laws that disproportionately effect communities of color, such as mandating government-issues photo IDs and curtailing early voting. Many more of these laws would have been put in place had it not been for a number of lower court rulings made possible by the Voting Rights Act. Racial discrimination still very much exists, and this act is needed protection for our fellow citizens.
The most astonishing thing about this argument against the Voting Rights Act is that there is a bailout provision built in. Jurisdictions that have 10 years of clean records (see – no attempts at voter discrimination) are allowed to go to court to end this oversight, and dozens of jurisdictions have used this piece of the law. These states should not be able to just say that the need for discrimination has passed, they should have to prove it.
By signing this petition you are urging the Supreme Court to uphold this key piece of civil rights legislation. Do not allow voter discrimination to go unchecked in America.
Dear Chief Justice John Roberts,
At the end of this month you will hear the case on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. This key piece of civil rights legislation is vital in upholding minorities’ right to vote, and without it thousands will have this Constitutionally guaranteed right threatened.
Because of the bailout provision in this law – and the fact that so many jurisdictions that fall under Section 5 cannot show 10 years of good behavior to opt out of it – there is no need to strike this law down. As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and if these states do not have 10 years without an attempt at voter suppression then the need for this legislation is clearly still very real.
I am urging you to uphold this law and protect minorities’ right to vote, which is still very much in jeopardy here in America. Please do the right thing, and let the states prove that they do not need this law anymore.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: lakeandlocal via Flickr