In keeping with the bipartisan support that has characterized each reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, including the most recent in 2006, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice has scheduled a hearing, “The Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court’s Decision in Shelby County,” for Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. The hearing will take place at 2141 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The hearing will feature the testimony of J. Christian Adams (Education Law Center), Robert Kengle (Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law), Hans von Spakovsky (Heritage Foundation), and Spencer Overton (George Washington University Law School).
This hearing, which follows the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Voting Rights Act on Wednesday, July 17, is an important step in Congress’s obligation to ensure that voters are protected in the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, millions of voters are left without one of the core protections of the Voting Rights Act, which Congress must address.
LDF represents several African American community leaders and voters in the case, including Councilman Ernest Montgomery. In 2006, the City of Calera, which lies within Shelby County, Alabama enacted a discriminatory redistricting plan without complying with the Voting Rights Act, leading to the loss of the city’s sole African-American councilman, Ernest Montgomery. Because of the Voting Rights Act, however, Calera was required to draw a nondiscriminatory redistricting plan and conduct another election in which Mr. Montgomery regained his seat.
Read LDF’s testimony here.
Watch the House hearing here beginning at minute 34.