The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, and WilmerHale filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and an individual Georgia voter challenging newly drawn district lines for the General Assembly on the grounds that they violate Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bans the drawing of legislative district lines that water down the voting strength of Georgia citizens who are Black or other communities of color. In the last decade, citizens who are Black drove Georgia’s significant population growth, yet the state Legislature failed to draw district lines that would allow these new voters to elect their preferred leaders.
In particular, the General Assembly could have drawn at least a half-dozen new Black-majority state Senate or state House districts, in particular in southern Atlanta metro region and the Augusta area. Yet the General Assembly failed to do so, diluting the true voting strength of voters who are Black.
It’s important for Georgia voters to choose their leaders rather than politicians choosing their voters. District lines stay in place for 10 years — that’s most of a child’s life before becoming a teenager.
Who is elected to the state legislature determines things such as whether schools and children have the resources they need to thrive. The state elected officials have great power over citizens’ daily lives including education, healthcare, and transportation.
Regarding healthcare, for instance, the Georgia House of Representatives passed its abortion ban by a margin of only 2 votes.