On the Hill Update: Thursday, July 1, 2021
Supreme Court weakens Voting Rights Act
On July 1, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, a case that assessed whether two voter suppression laws enacted by Arizona could be challenged by Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Alito, the Court upheld the anti-voter provisions and, in doing so, substantially weakened the Voting Rights Act. The decision will embolden efforts across the country to cut early voting, reduce polling places, collect absentee ballots and beyond, and is a direct attack on the political power built by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and disabled voters.
In her dissent, Justice Kagan summed up this disturbing turn of events by stating that, “By declaring some racially discriminatory burdens inconsequential, […] the majority enables voting discrimination.” NCJW is angered by this decision, which has once again demonstrated the need for Congress to pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act without delay.
- Take Action! Tell your senators to pass transformational democracy reform.
A diverse slate of judicial nominees paused while Senate is on recess
The Senate is on recess for Independence Day from June 28 through July 9. In the meantime, a number of qualified and diverse judicial nominations await advancement when the Senate returns. Tiffany Cunningham’s nomination is up for a vote on the Senate floor. Nominated to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Cunningham is a registered patent attorney before the US Patent and Trademark office with over 20 years of experience in patent and intellectual property law.
Additionally, the nominations of Eunice Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Veronica Rossman to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and Chief Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit await a markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both Lee and Rossman have spent their careers as public defenders, with Lee representing more than 380 clients over the past 20 years and Rossman representing over 250 clients in the last 12 years. As a Puerto Rican jurist, Chief Judge Gelpí would bring a much-needed perspective to the federal judiciary. In fact, his confirmation would make him the second judge from Puerto Rico to ever sit on the First Circuit. NCJW supports the confirmations of Tiffany Cunningham, Eunice Lee, Veronica Rossman, and Chief Judge Gelpí for lifetime appointments to the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals.
- Take Action! Contact your senators in support of fair, independent, and qualified nominees supported by NCJW.
Dedicated social justice advocate nominated for lifetime appointment
On June 15, Myrna Pérez was nominated for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She has argued cutting-edge and complex cases in federal and state courthouses across the country taught at both Columbia and New York University law schools, testified before Congress and several state legislatures on a variety of voting rights-related issues, and speaks frequently on academic and bar association panels. If confirmed, Perez would be the only Latina on the court and the first since Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. NCJW strongly supports the nomination of Myrna Pérez for a lifetime appointment on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Take Action! Tell your senators to support Myrna Pérez and other qualified, fair, and independent nominees to the federal bench.
Deadline for Democracy
NCJW, Inc. is a partner of Deadline for Democracy, a joint mobilization during which activists across the country will hold visible, public, press-worthy events to tell Senators that the American people are showing up to demand a democracy that works for all. Use this toolkit to host a visible event in your community when the Senate is out on recess (June 28-July 9).