The following can be attributed to Susan Watson, Executive Director, ACLU of Alabama:
We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has put up a roadblock to make voting less free, fair, and accessible. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has been critically important to our state. It blocked 46 discriminatory voting laws in Alabama between 1982 and 2006; the state also violated Section 2, another critical provision of the Voting Rights Act that protects against discrimination, 192 times.
We know Congress is committed to protect the rights of minority voters on a bipartisan basis. Congress has reauthorized Section 5 every time since its passage and most recently reauthorized it with overwhelming bipartisan support, which President George W. Bush signed into law in 2006.
When Congress extended Section 5 in 2006 for another 25 years, it overwhelmingly concluded that there is a great need for it, and said that without the Voting Rights Act’s protections, the minority vote will be diluted.
The ACLU will continue to fight to preserve the right to vote for all Americans in courts and state legislatures. We call upon our state’s legislators to protect and expand the precious right to vote.
While we are disappointed by the decision in Shelby, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona decision decided by the Supreme Court on June 17 by a 7-2 decision makes clear that states cannot impose voter registration requirements beyond what federal law permits. All eligible Alabama voters can register without having to provide burdensome and costly proof-of-citizenship documentation.
Download: ACLU of Alabama Statement for the SCOTUS Voting Rights Act Ruling