WASHINGTON – In a piece for SCOTUSBlog, LaShawn Warren, executive vice president of government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, explains the importance of the upcoming oral argument in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, which concerns racially discriminatory voting laws in Arizona. The Leadership Conference filed an amicus curiae brief in the case last month, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which plays a vital role in ensuring that voters of color have equal access to the ballot.
“Arizona Republicans are asking the Court to render Section 2 hopelessly ineffective in combating new iterations of vote-denial laws — or in other words, they want to make it easier for states to get away with passing laws that make it disproportionately harder for people of color to cast their ballot,” Warren writes, making clear the voting rights of Black and brown communities are under constant attack. “Now is not the time to weaken Section 2. This provision prohibits state and local governments from imposing voting laws that result in racial or language discrimination.”
She continues, “This year alone, legislators in 33 states have already introduced more than 165 bills to restrict voting access, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice. These restrictions are consistently found to significantly and disproportionately burden voters of color. That disproportionate burden is well-documented at every stage of voting — from registering to vote, staying registered to vote, getting to the polls, and casting a ballot. In fact, the former president’s lawsuits attempting to invalidate votes following the 2020 election largely targeted counties where Black voters live. As we’ve seen throughout American history, discrimination in voting has proven to be a substantial and enduring threat to political participation. That is why the role of the federal courts is particularly significant. The Voting Rights Act and its core enforcement provision, Section 2, represent a hard-won federal embrace of bedrock values of fairness and inclusion. In Brnovich v. DNC, the Court must adhere to those values, vindicate Section 2, and move our nation closer to equal access to the ballot for all. ”
The full text of the piece is available here.