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Supreme Court Delivers Another Blow to Voting Rights Act

National Council of Jewish Women
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Supreme Court Delivers Another Blow to Voting Rights Act

June 25, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed its deep dismay at the Supreme Court ruling in Abbot v. Perez, a case that contested Texas gerrymandering as racially motivated. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling upholding Texas legislative districts is a setback not only for the minority voters whose voice has been deliberately weakened, but also for the Voting Rights Act itself.  Despite the previous unanimous decision by a three-judge federal appeals panel finding that the districts were the product of discriminatory gerrymandering by the state of Texas, a 5-4 majority of the court disagreed. Writing for the majority, on the 5th anniversary the court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, another ruling that severely undermined the Voting Rights Act, Justice Samuel Alito asserted that there was no evidence that the legislature intended to discriminate against minority voters.

“While previous consideration of this case in the lower court did result in some positive improvements for minority voters, the Supreme Court’s majority seems willfully ignorant of the history of voter discrimination in Texas. The assertion by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch that the Voting Rights Act ought not be applied in gerrymandering cases at all is chilling. President Trump has been nominating judges in the Gorsuch mold, which should further alarm all who are concerned with fair access to the polls.

“Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing for the dissent laments that minority voters ‘….must return to the polls in 2018 and 2020 with the knowledge that their ability to exercise meaningfully their right to vote has been burdened by the manipulation of district lines specifically designed to target their communities and minimize their political will.’

“Those of us who believe in a Supreme Court that upholds fundamental freedoms, including the right to vote, must make our opinions known to US senators as they vote to confirm judicial nominees by this president.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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