The American Friends Service Committee is concerned about the effect that Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision on Shelby County vs. Holder will have on communities throughout the United States. By striking down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Court threatens making second-class citizens of many, especially people of color. The Voting Rights Act has been crucial in giving the federal government the ability to keep discriminatory voting laws from going into effect. Many communities of color face continuing threats of voter disenfranchisement, with voter ID laws offering just one example of restrictive measures being implemented or considered in many states.
In our work across the U.S., we have too often witnessed communities of color left out of important political and policy decisions that affect them. The right to vote is the most crucial for having a voice in government. We call on Congress to protect the right to vote for all citizens of this country, especially those who have been historically denied the franchise.