Black Alabamians Deserve an Equal Voice in Government

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Washington, D.C. – Campaign Legal Center senior vice president, Paul Smith, released the following statement ahead of oral arguments in the Supreme Court case Merrill v. Milligan. The case is centered on a voting map in Alabama that was struck down by a lower court for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting Black Alabamians’ voting strength, restricting their ability to elect their preferred representative:

“The voting map being considered by the Supreme Court in Merrill v. Milligan is a textbook case of racial vote dilution. The map packs some Black voters into a single district and divides other clusters of Black voters into multiple districts, diluting the voices of Black Alabamians. This practice deprives Black voters of an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

The Supreme Court must take this opportunity to reaffirm the strength of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, one of the last remaining tools to challenge voting maps that dilute the political influence of minority voters. We hope the Supreme Court will side with Black Alabamians and prevent politicians from drawing unfair voting maps that drown out Black voices. Moreover, this case illustrates the need for Congress to step in and pass legislation that uniformly protects the freedom to vote in every state.”

Campaign Legal Center has been involved in several lawsuits challenging racial vote dilution in voting maps. In July 2022, Campaign Legal Center filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that Alabama’s attacks on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act are unfounded. The brief offers several remedies the state of Alabama could take that does not dilute Black voices while still satisfying Alabama’s other policy priorities.