Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, Co-Founders of Black Voters Matter and April England-Albright, Legal Director of Black Voters Matter issued the following statement following the Decision in Allen v. Milligan Blocking Alabama’s Congressional Map
Alabama’s long history of racism and discrimination perpetrated against Black people has served as a constant threat to exercising the right to vote for Black and marginalized people in this country. The Supreme Court’s, 2013 Shelby v Holder decision, which is another Alabama case, took away one of the greatest tools to protect against the racist tactics of the GOP by declaring Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. Ten years later, we are still fighting the impact of that decision today.
However, today, in another Alabama case, Allen v Milligan, the Supreme Court took a step in the right direction by preserving Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and by blocking the racially gerrymandered Congressional map drawn by a super majority GOP party that sought to again silence the political power of Black voters in Alabama. As the Supreme Court noted, the previous map was drawn with intentional discrimination in mind, diluting the power of Black voters and perpetuating systemic racism.
While we acknowledge the protection to the Voting Rights Act offered by this decision, we also take note that the same GOP party, which created the racially gerrymandered maps in the first place, are now in charge of drafting another map in response to the Court’s directive to include a second majority Black district.
At Black Voters Matter, we know that there is still much work to be done to ensure that Black Voters have congressional maps that allows you to have a say in shaping policy and distribution of resources in a way that brings about political power and transformative justice in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and other places in this country. While we urge lawmakers to draw new district lines that provide fair and equal representation for Black and Marginalized communities, we, along with our Alabama partners, such as the courageous Plaintiffs in the Milligan case will remain vigilant in our efforts to hold the Alabama Legislature accountable to the demands and needs of our communities. We are confident that the tireless work of organizers in Alabama, which led to the passage of the VRA, and the recent defeat of HB209, will result in just and equitable maps. And Alabama will again serve as the blueprint for Black voters, and all voters, to have a say in building an inclusive democracy.