America First Legal Files Brief in Voting Rights Act Case
Asks SCOTUS to Declare Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, America First Legal (AFL) filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court of the United States in a case involving the State of Alabama’s 2021 redistricting plan. In its brief, AFL asks the Supreme Court of the United States to correct its jurisprudence on the Voting Rights Act and declare Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional.
As background, Alabama passed a new congressional redistricting plan for its seven congressional seats in 2021. In that same year, some Alabama voters and organizations filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama’s Secretary of State and certain members of the State Legislature, alleging the redistricting plan violated the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA). The federal district court ordered the state legislature to pass a remedial redistricting plan, and the defendants appealed the lower court’s decision, arguing that its plan is in fact based on neutral districting principles, and that a revised map would violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibition against race discrimination. AFL agrees with Alabama.
AFL is dedicated to promoting the rule of law and ensuring due process and equal protection are afforded to every American citizen. It is precisely because of its unwavering commitment to these founding principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and in the Fourteenth Amendment that AFL is compelled to file this amicus brief. The result of the case below put race before the Consitution, and the district court’s decision ordering Alabama to create a revised redistricting map requires Alabama to engage in intentional racial discrimination. Such a result only serves to reject, rather than enforce, the Constitution’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law.
AFL joins Alabama in seeking reversal of the lower court’s ruling, and also asks the Court to stop our country’s decades-long racial segregation in redistricting due to the VRA’s Section 2. Justice Thomas put it most eloquently when he described that since its passage, Section 2 has “involved federal courts, and indeed the Nation, in the enterprise of systematically dividing the country into electoral districts along racial lines lines—an enterprise of segregating the races into political homeland that amounts, in truth, to nothing short of a system of political apartheid.” Holder v. Hall, 512 U.S. 874, 905 (1994). The solution to this problem was simply stated by Chief Justice Roberts: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Parents Involved in Cmty. Sch. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 748 (2007).
Statement from America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel Gene Hamilton:
“As evidenced by the outcome of the case below, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act rejects, rather than enforces, the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Requiring states to racially discriminate when engaging in redistricting is as offensive as it is illogical,” Gene Hamilton said.
Read the Amicus Brief here.
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