Law Newz: Lawsuit Claims Alabama Law Preventing Felons from Voting is Racially Discriminatory
The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), the Voting Rights Institute, and the law firm of Jenner & Block filed the lawsuit on behalf of U.S. citizens with past felony convictions who have been denied the right to vote in Alabama. At the heart of the lawsuit is the claim that a blanket felony disenfranchisement law covering individuals convicted of minor, non-violent offenses violates the 14th Amendment. The Alabama law currently prohibits approximately 15% of black adults (about 130,000 people) from voting, according to the complaint. Alabama is one of 12 states that imposes a lifetime voting ban on some of its convicted felons.
Danielle Lang, voting rights counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, issued a statement on Monday saying Alabama’s law has the “undeniable effect of diminishing the political power of minority communities.” Lang added, “As our legal complaint shows, these laws are rooted in the racially discriminatory policies of the Jim Crow era, continue to primarily harm people of color and distort our democracy.”