Press Releases

Statement from CBC Chairman on DOJ Decision to Reverse Position in Voting Case Before the Supreme Court

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Washington, August 9, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond, released a statement on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to reverse its position on a Ohio voting case before the Supreme Court that deals with state procedures for removing people from voter rolls.

In Ohio, if a resident doesn’t vote for two years, the state sends them a notice of confirmation and then removes them from the rolls if the resident doesn’t respond to the notice and fails to vote for an additional four years. Challengers in the case say the procedure violates federal law and so far the courts have agreed.

“It’s no surprise that a man who tried to prosecute three African-American civil rights workers for voter fraud agrees with a form of voter suppression that the courts have said violates federal law.

“Now more than ever, it is clear that we have a lot to lose under the Trump Administration, especially when it comes to the Department of Justice and our nation’s top law enforcement official – Attorney General Sessions is going to use his position of power, as well as taxpayer dollars, to incarcerate and disenfranchise more black and brown Americans.

“African Americans fought and died to dismantle many unconstitutional barriers to the ballot box, barriers such as paying poll taxes, taking literacy tests, and counting candy in jars. But, if it had been up to Attorney General Sessions to dismantle these barriers, we’d still be doing these things today.  

“Voting is the most fundamental right in a democracy and, sadly and shamefully, Attorney General Sessions refuses to protect this right for all Americans.”

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