THE AME CHURCH DECRIES US SUPREME COURT VOTING RIGHTS ACTION
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Posted on Mon, Jul 1, 2013
(Washington, DC) Today, the US Supreme Court has cast a shadow over the landscape that had been carefully groomed to protect the voting rights of every American and monitor any efforts to disenfranchise voters. A deeply divided bench voted 5 to 4 to strike down Section 4. The bare majority ruled that this section was outdated and based on progress made over the years, a new formula needs to be used to determine which cities and states must get permission from the federal government before changing their voting procedures.
"The African Methodist Episcopal Church decries this action, declares Bishop Reginald Jackson, chair of the Social Action Commission. Eliminating section 4 and keeping section 5 essentially guts a major provision and protection for those who have been subjected to historic and longstanding discrimination, including threats to life and livelihood." In those fifteen states that are now being monitored and others where new disenfranchising laws are being crafted, the AME Church will increase its efforts to register, mobilize and educate potential voters
It means that the cities and states that have yet to send approval requests to the Justice Dept, or those to which the Justice Dept has not responded will be able to enact those procedures. As Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP_LDF stated, "This is like letting you keep your car, but taking away the keys".
The AME Church will further advocate with the members of Congress to expedite the development of a new formula based on current documented acts that would address these concerns.
Finally, Operation EMR will work in partnership with other civil and human rights groups to continue mitigating the damage done to millions over the decades. Our commitment to justice will continue with greater urgency and vibrancy.
Social Action Commission Consultant/Director
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