Blog of Rights

Supreme Court Put a Dagger in the Heart of the Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court Put a Dagger in the Heart of the Voting Rights Act

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Laughlin McDonald, Voting Rights Project at 1:54pm
While the 15th Amendment was adopted in 1870 and prohibited denial of the right to vote on account of race or color, in reality, many African-Americans were only able to vote within recent memory -- less than 50 years ago, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many people fought and bled for that right. Yet, despite a victory so recent in our memories, last week, the Supreme Court undermined one of the most powerful tools forged during that struggle—Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).
Thousands of New Yorkers Will Get Health Care and An Opportunity to Vote!

Thousands of New Yorkers Will Get Health Care and An Opportunity to Vote!

By Eunice Hyon Min Rho, ACLU & Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:14pm

Starting on October 1, millions of Americans will begin applying for health care coverage through health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act; in New York State alone, an estimated 2.8 million uninsured will access the system.…

Let People Vote: A Postcard from Florida

Let People Vote: A Postcard from Florida

By Howard L. Simon, ACLU of Florida at 2:53pm

The following blog post is adapted from the remarks by ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which held its second hearing on June 28, 2013 in Miami.

The President's charge…

In North Carolina and Across the Nation, The Voting Rights Act is Still Necessary

In North Carolina and Across the Nation, The Voting Rights Act is Still Necessary

By Chris Brook, Legal Director, ACLU of North Carolina at 2:19pm

The right of every eligible citizen to cast a ballot and participate in the democratic process is one of the most deeply held American values. But, as any observer of history knows, that right has not always been extended equally in North Carolina…

Happy 20th Anniversary to the National Voter Registration Act! May It Have Many More

Happy 20th Anniversary to the National Voter Registration Act! May It Have Many More

By Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 11:50am

Twenty years ago today, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), in order to make voter registration free, fair, and accessible for all Americans. The statute has been a resounding success, helping to enfranchise millions of Americans…

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:16pm

An international human rights body is set to question the United States on its obligations under a key human rights treaty. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, an independent body of experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the International Covenant…

Shelby, ITCA, and Congress' Role in Protecting Voting Rights

Shelby, ITCA, and Congress' Role in Protecting Voting Rights

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:22pm

Following a wave of voter suppression laws over the last few years, Texas passed a restrictive voter identification law, which unfairly burdened communities of color all across the state. The new law was rejected as discriminatory under the federal…

The Supreme Court Hears More About the Right to Vote

The Supreme Court Hears More About the Right to Vote

By Nancy Abudu, Director of Legal Operations, ACLU of Florida at 1:30pm

On Monday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Arizona, et al. v. ITCA, Inc., et al., the second of two important voting rights cases that the Court will hear in less than a month involving Congress' authority to enact laws to increase access…

Don't Strike Down Section 5

Don't Strike Down Section 5

By Laughlin McDonald, Voting Rights Project at 5:20pm

Hans von Spakovsky, in his recent article in the National Review, “Strike Down Section 5,” gets it wrong when he says the Supreme Court should hold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional in the case now pending before it, Shelby County,…

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:26pm

Let's just take one day, February 27, 2013, as a snapshot of the state of equality and justice in America.