Voting Rights Rally at Supreme Court

2/26/2013, 6:24 p.m.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. o Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Urban League and other civil rights, religious, labor and social justice groups will rally to protect the Voting Rights Act (VRA) on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. On the same day the Court will hear arguments in a case that could turn back the clock on voting rights in the U.S.

The coalition has committed to bringing between 1,000 to 5,000 people to rally on the steps of the Supreme Court in a mass show of support for the Voting Rights Act.

Although an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of Congress reauthorized the VRA in 2006 for 25 more years, Shelby County v. Holder threatens the heart of the Act and challenges the constitutionality of the critical pre-clearance provision--known as Section 5.

Section 5 of the VRA requires jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination to receive preapproval from the Justice Department or a federal district court in D.C. for any change to their voting rules to ensure such changes do not discriminate against voters who are racial, ethnic or language minorities.

The flagrant and aggressive voter suppression efforts that occurred in many of the very states subject to Section 5 preclearance during the past election, underscores that this critical measure is still necessary to protect the fundamental right to vote.