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May 15, 2017



May 15, 2017



 A statement by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.


Today the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear an appeal by North Carolina Republicans to overturn the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that North Carolina had engaged in intentional racial discrimination when it passed a voting rights law following the 2013 Shelby decision that gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

It means a defeat for North Carolina Republican voter suppression efforts. When the law was passed, it was the worst legalized attack on voting rights in the nation in 2013. It cut back early voting by seven days (resulting in 200,000 fewer voters), eliminated Souls to the Polls Sunday (affecting a long-standing voting tradition among African American churches), changed the rules pertaining to out-of-precinct voting (resulting in 6,000 fewer votes), eliminated same-day voter registration (resulting in 21,000 fewer votes), ruled that 16-and-17-year-olds could not be pre-registered to vote, all laws that disproportionately affected African Americans, young people, seniors, the poor, workers and the disabled specifically - and Democratic voters generally.

The Court’s refusal to hear the case, which means the Fourth Circuit’s ruling stands and the unconstitutionality of intentional racial discrimination in voting generated by this law was sustained.  However, the Court said it wasn’t clear who had the authority to bring the case and, as a result, it didn’t rule on the merits of the case.  Nevertheless, today was a defeat for North Carolina Republican voter suppression efforts and the discrimination inherit in the scheme has been stopped – at least for now.

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.




Media Contacts: Don Terry

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