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The Supreme Court may gut the Voting Rights Act

As we've seen too often, extremist politicians and activists are continuing to attack the foundations of our democracy – voting rights, ballot access, fair districts, and even the basic administration of elections.

The Supreme Court has started to take up these cases, and I'm worried.

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear a case, Moore v. Harper, in which the North Carolina legislature argues that they have unfettered power to draw district lines, unreviewable by the Governor or state courts. They are even arguing that the legislature's power is not subject to their own state constitution.

If they're successful, their argument — a fringe theory known as the "independent state legislature" theory — could upend almost everything about elections in the United States.

Earlier this fall, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Merrill v. Milligan, a case about gerrymandering from Alabama.

Alabama, a state with a 27% Black voter population, redrew congressional districts in a way that packed most Black voters into just one of the seven districts – limiting their voting power.

Civil rights advocates won lower court rulings declaring that Alabama's new districts violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination based on race and ethnicity. The state appealed to the Supreme Court.

In oral arguments, the newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, sharply criticized the state for their actions. But the Trump-appointed justices appeared to be sympathetic toward Alabama's position.

If the Supreme Court upholds these Alabama maps, every state would be allowed to draw discriminatory maps and disenfranchise voters. If the Supreme Court upholds the fringe "independent state legislature" theory, state election laws could not be vetoed by Governors or overruled by state courts.

In Congress, I joined with my Democratic colleagues to pass important voting rights legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and the For the People Act. These bills will help make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote may do so, regardless of where they live, what they look like, or who they support. This legislation would be a major step forward in restoring voting protections and addressing the systemic racism that has influenced our election laws.

We will keep up the fight to defend our democracy, and voting rights.

Thank you for standing with me,


Posted on December 6, 2022.

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Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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