Allen v. Milligan
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling that Alabama’s congressional map drawn in 2021 violates the Voting Rights Act by “packing and cracking” Black communities, resulting in diluted political power.
- This is one of the most important civil rights decisions of our generation. It’s a historic victory for voters and Black communities across the country reaffirming key protections established by Congress in the Voting Rights Act during a time of countless attacks on the right to vote.
- Alabama created a redistricting plan for its seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, including a majority-Black district.
- Registered voters and several organizations challenged the map, alleging that it illegally packed Black voters into one district and divided others across multiple districts, minimizing the number of districts where Black voters had a fair opportunity to elect their chosen candidates.
- A three-judge district court unanimously agreed with the challengers and granted a preliminary injunction, ordering the state to draw a new map. That decision was frozen by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 order, that kept the discriminatory maps in place pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of the merits.
- Today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling, agreeing that Plaintiffs met their burden at the preliminary injunction stage to show Alabama’s maps discriminated against Black voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In so doing, the Court rejected Alabama’s purported “race-neutral” approach to Section 2 litigation. The Court reaffirmed that race can, and indeed must, be considered in drawing remedial districts when doing so is necessary to ensure voters of color are not denied an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process.
- This redistricting cycle was the first since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted federal oversight, or preclearance, in Shelby County v Holder, meaning it was much easier for hostile state governments to pass racially discriminatory maps. Today’s decision does not undo the damage caused by Shelby County. But it does send a clear message to state and local lawmakers that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is intact and that, under the law, they must ensure that voters of color are not denied a fair opportunity to participate in the electoral process.
- Nov. 4, 2021: Alabama enacts a congressional redistricting plan.
- Nov. 15, 2021: Milligan et al. file a lawsuit challenging the plan for violating the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.
- Jan. 24, 2022: A three-judge federal panel issues a preliminary injunction enjoining Alabama from using the congressional redistricting plan for the 2022 elections, stating that Black voters have less opportunity to elect candidates of their choice to Congress.
- Feb. 7, 2022: The Supreme Court stays the injunction, allowing the state to use the congressional district boundaries adopted in November 2021 for the 2022 elections, and grants a petition for a writ of certiorari in the case.
- October 4, 2022: The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument.
- June 8, 2023: The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed Section 2, that race can be considered in redistricting when necessary to remedy VRA violations, and affirmed the district court’s decision that Alabama’s map likely violates the VRA by diluting Black political power.
Key Message Points
- The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, ruling that the Voting Rights Act requires consideration of race when necessary to remedy racial discrimination in districting, and reaffirmed the lower court’s ruling that Alabama’s map violated Section 2 by diluting Black voting power.
- We applaud this decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
- By affirming, the court sent a clear message not just to Alabama’s legislature, but to all lawmakers who are currently attempting to silence Black voters with racially discriminatory maps.
- Alabama must now draw a new map with two districts where Black voters will have an opportunity to elect candidates of choice, which will allow for fairer representation and help to improve disparities in infrastructure, education, health services, environmental safety, and other issues that Black communities bear the brunt of.
- But the fight doesn’t end here. Other counties and states – including Jefferson County, Alabama and Louisiana – are still suffering under maps that discriminate against Black voters and other voters of color.
- Redistricting and congressional representation directly affects the resources a county or city receives from health care to education and everything in between, which affects quality of life for all.
- Redistricting is our once-in-a-decade process of accounting for state-level population changes across the country to draw new district maps from the federal level to the local level which makes an impact on how funding is distributed for healthcare, schools, and roads.
- Unfair mapping and gerrymandering weaken community power by denying certain groups the ability to choose a candidate of their choice to fight for the needs of the community.
- Voting rights are under attack at all angles – voter ID laws, line relief bans, drop box bans, polling site closures, and many more restrictive policies disproportionately burden voters of color, voters with disabilities and elderly voters, voters whose first language is not English, low-income voters, among others.
- States can and should pass their own Voting Rights Acts to protect voting rights and prevent racially discriminatory maps.
- We must continue to push back against the assault on democracy in this nation until every vote matters and every voice is heard!
Keywords and phrases
- Fight for fair maps
- Power on the line
- Fair representation
- Protect democracy
- The right to self-determination
- Black voting power
- Candidates of their choice
- Full representation
- Voting rights
- Expand voting access
GIFS to Use
WH Talking Points: New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities
Today, in celebration of Pride Month, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety. Please see below our fact sheet, coverage, and talking points.Links:
The Biden-Harris administration stands with the LGBTQI+ community and has their backs in the face of these attacks, and are announcing new actions to protect the LGBTQI+ community by:
- Strengthening Physical Safety – with dedicated resources and federal coordination to better protect pride celebrations, marches, community centers, health care providers, and small businesses.
- Addressing Civil Rights Violations – a new coordinator to protect LGBTQI+ students from book bans, which make it harder for kids to learn and may violate civil rights laws.
- Strengthening Mental Health and other Support Resources – more mental health resources and funding to help families support their kids, new efforts to protect LGBT kids in foster care, and steps to end LGBTQI+ youth homelessness.
- Today, in celebration of Pride Month, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety.
- Over a dozen states have enacted anti-LGBTQI+ laws that violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans, and are cruel and callous to our kids, our neighbors, and those in our community.
- This builds on President Biden delivering for LGBTQI+ Americans by: ending the ban on transgender troops, signing the Respect for Marriage Act, fighting against child abuse known as so-called “conversion therapy,” and advancing LGBTQI+ human rights around the globe.
- On the heels of these new announcements, today President Biden will also join LGBTQI+ families for a historic celebration on the South Lawn to demonstrate that LGBTQI+ people belong in the People’s House.
- We know this fight is far from over, and the Biden-Harris Administration will continue our focus on advancing equality for LGBTQI+ people across the country.
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White House Highlights Record Public and Private Investment in Communities
- On Tuesday, the White House launched Invest.gov, a new website highlighting the historic economic recovery President Biden has overseen and how his Investing in America agenda is bringing economic opportunity, jobs, and investments to states and territories across America.
- Invest.gov features an interactive map that shows private sector investments mobilized by the President’s agenda that are bringing manufacturing back to the US and building a clean energy economy, as well as infrastructure projects underway that are funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Under President Biden’s leadership, the economy is transitioning from a historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth with good jobs, more manufacturing, and small businesses booming.
- President Biden’s economic agenda has created more than 13 million jobs since he took office, and has helped the United States reach the lowest unemployment rates since the 1960’s.
- His Investing in America agenda has mobilized over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, and the Administration has announced over $220 billion in infrastructure funding aimed at repairing roads and bridges, delivering clean water, deploying high-speed internet, and more.
- At the same time, 12 million new small business applications have been filed over the last two years – underscoring how President Biden’s agenda is growing our economy from the middle-out and bottom-up, not top-down.
- President Biden’s leadership to avert default protects these investments that are bringing jobs and opportunities to communities across the country and continue the progress that we’ve made growing the economy over the last two years.
- To highlight the impact of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, members of the Administration will be fanning out across the country later this month for a second installment of the Investing in America tour, coinciding with the two-week Congressional recess around the July 4th holiday.
- The website will be updated regularly to reflect recent investments, projects, and announcements.