The “Never Forget, Never Again” pilgrimage for voting rights came to the Alabama State House on Wednesday to raise awareness of a pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could allow some states to change voting laws.
The challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 from Shelby County, Alabama seeks to void a requirement that all or parts of 16 states get election law changes approved by the Justice Department. Those states have a history of discrimination at the polls.
Charles Steele, former Alabama legislator and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called Section 5 “the heart of the Voting Rights Act” and said that if the conservative court strikes it down, states would be able to deny voters rights in various ways.
Steele added that if the high court decides in favor of Shelby County, which is requesting the ability to make election law changes without Department of Justice oversight, the SCLC and the half-dozen other member organizations of the National Coalition to Save Section 5 will continue their fight for voting rights on a national scale.
Steele was joined at the dais by Sens. Pricilla Dunn and Hank Sanders and Reps. Thad McClammy and Laura Hall. People of various ages and races, including children, sang and shared civil rights experiences.