Rep. Sewell reacts to court decision ‘gutting’ Voting Rights Act
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s only Democratic member in Congress is reacting to news that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that ‘guts’ the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Dist.7, called the court’s decision “deeply disturbing and wrong as a matter of law,” adding that “[if] allowed to stand, it would be the death knell of the Voting Rights Act, stripping individuals and civil rights groups of their ability to fight back against voter discrimination in court.”
On Monday, the St. Louis-based appeals court ruled that private individuals and groups such as the NAACP do not have the ability to sue under a key section of the federal Voting Rights Act despite decades of precedent. The 2-1 ruling found that only the U.S. attorney general can enforce Section 2 of the VRA.
Section 2 requires political maps to include districts where minority populations’ preferred candidates can win elections, according to the Associated Press.
Sewell called on the Supreme Court to “reverse this disastrous ruling without delay” and for Congress to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation she’s long championed.
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