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Washington, D.C. — In response to today’s Merrill v. Milligan oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement from Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner:
“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most critical civil rights advancements in the history of the United States, and we are alarmed to see the United States Supreme Court taking up yet another case that could substantially weaken it. Voting rights laws are only as strong as the judges who enforce them. In this case, the Republican-controlled Alabama legislature drew seven congressional districts with only one Black majority district, even though 27% of Alabama residents are Black. A three-judge panel on the lower court, including two Trump appointees, found that this map violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court cannot allow Alabama and other states to severely undermine the Voting Rights Act and further disenfranchise communities.
Far-right Supreme Court Justices have repeatedly attacked the Voting Rights Act over the last decade, even though it was reauthorized with bipartisan consensus as recently as 2006. Congressional Republicans have since abandoned the core tenet of our democracy – one person, one vote – by not just opposing new voting rights protections, but even blocking the restoration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in light of the Supreme Court’s recent attacks in Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. LCV hopes the Supreme Court will do the right thing in this case by upholding the full strength of the Voting Rights Act and protecting Black Alabamians’ right to equitable representation, as well as the freedom to vote for all communities, no matter their race, language, or zip code. Unfortunately we know we cannot rely on this Court, so Congress must swiftly pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and continue to confirm pro-environment, pro-democracy judges.”