Protestors rally outside Supreme Court over Voting Rights Act case

A group of civil rights activists and lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court this morning as the nine justices inside debated the merits of Shelby County v. Holder

“The right to vote must be for all Americans,” Pelosi said standing on the steps of the Supreme Court.

The case deals with the constitutionality of the pre-clearance requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 and since renewed by Congress, most recently in 2006. Currently, all or parts of 16 states, including Alabama, Texas and Virginia, must have any voting rights changes – including redistricting map proposals – approved by the Justice Department or the D.C. District Court before they can be enacted.

“I stand before you steadfast in the belief that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is needed now more than ever,” Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) declared during the rally.

Among the protestors outside the Supreme Court today were employees from the SpiritHouse Project, a non-profit organization that fights for social justice.

Jhavia Etheridge, a SpiritHouse Project intern, shouted to the crowd, “We will not stand by quietly while our voting rights are threatened!”

SpiritHouse Founder Ruby Sales was also introduced during the rally, calling out to the protestors, “White supremacy is alive and well today.”

Despite these claims, Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister insists that Shelby county isn’t “the county or the state we used to be and pre-clearances are not necessary anymore.”

“It’s almost offensive to me,” Fuhrmeister told Red Alert Politics. “What we are described in the media is not who we are.”

While the provision was designed to stop racial discrimination in voting, the Shelby County government wants to drop Section 5, deeming it to be “unconstitutional and a permanent injunction against their enforcement.” 

Their suit does not challenge the Voting Rights Act in its entirety, however.

“The Shelby County elections are very serious about giving every registered voter the opportunity to vote,” Fuhrmeister said.

Ironically, President Obama was across the street from the Supreme Court at the U.S. Capitol unveiling a statue of the late Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist. The president has reportedly said that if these states and townships no longer were required to go through the Justice Department or federal judges, “It would be hard for us to catch those things up front to make sure that elections are done in an equitable way.”

The Supreme Court appears to be sharply divided over the case, with moderate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy likely to be the crucial swing vote. A decision on the case is expected in late June.

Comments

Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    Just upsets me it was one of my states that this was forced onto the expensce of this mess and only states that went with the confederacy in 1861 was forced into this. I think N.C was exempt if memory serves me .. I have seen Black Panthers outside of Philadelphia voting places 2 or 3 elections in a row now and not a damn word from the DOJ now let a white man in say Mississippi stand outside a voting place with a ball bat and ask anyone what they where voting for !! Oh the Marshals FBI and army reserve would be all over them..

  2. AJAY JAIN says:

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court: Discrimination is alive today unfortunately; Liberty and justice for all is openly sabotaged and the Supreme Court is inviting trouble of great magnitudnal proportions if it dares to fail its ultimate mandate: to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights. We not only need to keep the protections in the current Voting Rights Act, it should be expanded. The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last years voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to rear its head once again. The entire nation will speak against it because the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is not about political parties; the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is about individual rights protection. Bank on it! it is time to review; the Supreme Court’s “entitlements” as, it is no longer acting as an unbiased institution and that, your magistrates , can be amended. get up and do your job or we will make it happen! count on it! Now Even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights law on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end’s on this ? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ? Well I will tell you what I think. I think there may be a dozen or two, man and women in America that have the means to buy the power it wants to call all shots in this Country. The only way they can obtain this right now is get the people they went in office. To buy them so to say. But they know they can be stopped at the voting polls.They know the more that get out and vote there chances are reduced substantially. George Will knows this and should be ashamed. He say 47 years old. Is that old ? I don’t think so. Look at the constitution, at that II Amendment a lot older right. SS, Medicare, still very new in the big picture. But look at who wants to change them. Not working men and women, no the big bosses. They do not like to mach payments that is what this is all about. They did not like it back in the 1930s and they do not like it now. So Americans do not be fooled and all of you older people that now have this little benefit fight like h— to keep it just as it is. It just might be all there is between eating and striving !!

    All the republicans crapping about The Voting Rights Act (VRA) on this board and the likes of you in the REPUBLICAN House should move aside in 2014 because the REPUBLICANS are the crux of the problem. President Obama won the elections of 2008 AND 2012 fair and square but the REPUBLICANS are not allowing him to govern through their rule of RECORD number of filibusters in the Senate and the HOUSE of REPUBLICANS has achieved nothing since it came to power in 2010. In 2014 its the REPUBLICAN’s time to go and let OBAMA our democratically elected PRESIDENT rule the country and leave a legacy behind like the achievements of the 2008-2010 years when DEMOCRATS had the House Senate and the Presidency. We want the obstructionist REPUBLICANS out of the way in 2014. We want our House and Senate back in the DEMOCRATIC hands so we can govern and achieve something. All these doomsday fiscal deadlines that REPUBLICANS keep pushing on the country will haunt them in 2014!! Mark my words. March 4th 2013. Vote Democratic always!

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