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Most People In Power Don't Want You to Vote

What's a Democracy Without Voting Protections?

This week the new SCOTUS term began, with the addition of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the bench. She is the first black woman ever appointed to this position, making this yet another of those historic moments in US history which serve as part celebration, and part condemnation that it took us so long to get here. Despite this welcome increase in diversity of identity and experience on the court, the country’s least democratic institution remains firmly in the grip of a 6-3 radical “conservative” minority, and its upcoming docket looks poised to further erode our rights and civil liberties. Wasting no time, and devoid of all irony, Ketanji Brown Jackson's tenure on SCOTUS will begin with hearing a casepertaining to Alabama’s newly drawn congressional map. At question, is if these maps violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race. In this particular case, Alabama, whose citizenry is more than 25% Black, drew 7 congressional districts with only 1 majority-Black district, fewer than in the previous map. When several groups tried to sue to get the gerrymandered maps thrown out, Republicans argued that adding back a second majority-black district would interfere with other, race-neutral criteria for drawing districts. This kind of gerrymandering has been the bread and butter of Republicans for years, one of their tried-and-true strategies helping them maintain electoral control of states even as they receive a minority of votes each election. The argument, however, is new, and with a reactionary 6-3 majority showing no deference to precedent, the fatal blow to the voting rights act may be just around the corner. We don’t need to speculate about what happens next, Republican controlled states actions both after the 2010 census, andSCOTUS striking down section 5 of the voting rights act in 2013 show we should expect a deluge of creative and malicious efforts to exploit the lack of oversight and voting protections. The result, further disenfranchisement of voters at large, especially POC and other minority groups, leading to even less representation and accountability. Most Americans, even today, think that voting is a fundamental right in our democracy, but the right to vote, like so many of our liberties, are currently under assault from anti-democratic forces. Protecting, and re-winning our rights will take more than just showing up at the ballot box. Many of the institutions currently captured and controlled by reactionary forces, like SCOTUS, or the Fed are highly insulated from our democratic processes, even at the best of times. To build a movement that can truly stand-up on behalf of the people will take economic power, in addition to political influence. We need to speak the only languages the powerful understand: money and power. So, join us each Tuesday, in growing solidarity, as we build an economic cudgel to challenge the oligarchy stripping away our rights. Together we can revitalize the country, and make it a democracy in practice, not just name! #DSOT #UPM

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