Activists push back against Supreme Court case Moore v. Harper
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Local activists are pushing back against a U.S. Supreme Court case that could significantly increase the power that state lawmakers have over elections for Congress and the presidency.
The Supreme Court started hearing arguments Wednesday in Moore v. Harper, and several press conferences were held around the state in opposition. In Charleston, activists from Carolina for All, Black Voters Matter, and the Racial Justice Network came to Hampton Park to spread the word about the consequences they say Moore v. Harper could cause.
Republicans in North Carolina brought the case to the Supreme Court, saying that a specific reference of the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures full control of the manner and place for federal and congressional elections.
Heather Odom with Carolina for All says Moore v. Harper could pave the way for widespread purges of voters from polls, dramatic cuts to popular voting and vote by mail options, discriminatory barriers to voting access, challenges to fair election results and fewer protections against voter intimidation.
“If we do not stop this small group of people, we are looking at a massive power selection over your vote, over your voice which affects your community, it affects your healthcare, which affects your economy,” Odom said. “We cannot allow this to take place.”
Attorney and former South Carolina Attorney General, Charlie Condon, said that if the ability of state courts to declare that federal and congressional election lines are not fair is taken away, it could potentially allow for some “extreme gerrymandering,” where you have state legislatures drawing lines that would cause people of one party to be elected who otherwise wouldn’t have been.
“It is true that this would undo really decades of the way these lines have been drawn because typically they’re drawn by the legislature and then those that are unhappy with the lines do go to state court and fight over them and often, they’re successful under state constitutions or state statutes,” Condon said. “The position that no, that can’t be done in the future, I could see those that might think that could be very threatening to make sure that these lines are drawn fairly and constitutionally and in accordance with our principles.”
April Richardson with Black Voters Matter says she hopes the Supreme Court recognizes every individual’s right to cast a ballot and have that ballot be counted, saying this fight isn’t about any particular party, but the voters.
“What this really is about is every individual’s right to know that when they go to a ballot box that their voice is going to matter,” Richardson said. “That what they want to see in their community is going to be heard and fairly represented.”
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