Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement following U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement that the Department of Justice will sue the state of Georgia for its voter suppression bill, which passed earlier this year:
“More than three months after we joined partners to file our own lawsuit against the state of Georgia for its voter suppression bill, it’s encouraging to finally see the Department of Justice and the Biden-Harris administration stand with the people. With this historic announcement, the federal government is taking an important step toward defending the rights of Black voters. And on the eight-year anniversary of the Shelby v. Holder decision, which opened up the floodgates for states like Georgia to pass these dangerous bills, this move will hopefully set a new precedent and send a strong message to state legislatures.
“It’s no coincidence that this announcement from the Justice Department comes as two women of color — veteran civil rights attorneys Kristen Clarke and Vanita Gupta — are appointed to high-ranking positions within the Department for the very first time. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — representation matters: not only because it’s important for young Black girls to see themselves in higher office, but also because representation impacts policies.
“We’ve always known that these voter restriction bills were unconstitutional at their core. Today’s announcement is not only an affirmation of the work we do each and every day to protect voting rights; it’s a stern warning to other states. Any state or local governments pursuing voter suppression legislation must be prepared to defend Jim Crow in court, because we simply will not let this go. As we make our way toward Washington on our Freedom Ride for Voting Rights tour, we are urging the Biden-Harris administration and members of Congress to continue to stand up for voters and protect our voting power through the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We need to dismantle all barriers that prevent free and fair access to the ballot box. The fight continues.”
LaTosha and Cliff will hold a press conference at 7:00 PM ET TONIGHT (6/25) on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court (1 First Street NE, Washington D.C.) to acknowledge the eight-year anniversary of the dangerous Shelby v. Holder decision and the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights Tour will end TOMORROW (6/26) with a major rally on the National Mall. To RSVP, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.