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Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes Court Decision Preserving Voting Rights

Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes Court Decision Preserving Voting Rights

Pelavin: "Voting discrimination remains a continued problem for our nation, and we are grateful that the Supreme Court preserved the core element of our democracy: full and equal voting rights for all people." 

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jason Fenster
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.,June 17, 2009- In response to todays Supreme Court decision in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Todays Supreme Court decision in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder is a measured victory in the ongoing fight for equal rights. In a narrow ruling, the Supreme Court preserved Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states and districts with a history of discrimination at the polls to get approval (or Ðpre-clearanceÓ) from the federal government before making any changes in their election practices or procedures. Section 5 has long protected members of minority communities in states and districts across the country that have a history of discriminatory voting practices.

 

While our nation has made many strides toward equality, discrimination at the polls remains a real and insidious problem across the country, threatening to the integrity and vibrancy of our deliberative government. It is that problem that Section 5 seeks, and will continue to seek, to eradicate. Congress included Section 5 in the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act after hours of testimony made extraordinarily clear that discrimination remains a problem and that pre-clearance is essential to ensuring that minority communities do not encounter unnecessary barriers when attempting to vote.

 

Today, the Supreme Court recognized Congresss due diligence and affirmed the continued need for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. They kept this essential provision intact with a strong 8-1 majority. Voting discrimination remains a continued problem for our nation, and we are grateful that the Supreme Court preserved the core element of our democracy: full and equal voting rights for all people.