about the SHELBY Summit
Recognizing 10 Years Since the Shelby v. Holder Decision
Our nation is approaching the 10th anniversary of the June 25th, 2013, Shelby v Holder decision. The significance of the decision by the United States Supreme Court made it unconstitutional to apply the Section 4b coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act in determining which jurisdictions were subject to the preclearance requirement.
In the past 10 years, hundreds of Black and Brown citizens have died at the hands of police due to a lack and refusal to adopt unbiased policing laws. This is a by-product of the underrepresentation of prudent legislators elected to police oversight positions. Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi immediately after the Shelby v Holder decision enacted tougher and more strict voter ID laws. Thousands of voters have been unfairly purged from the voter rolls. Early voting is now limited along with same-day registration. Pre-registration has been shortened and polls now close early across the country.
In Georgia, in 2022, it became illegal to hand out water to voters waiting in line, some elderly voters who waited for up to eight hours could not legally receive a drink of cold water. After the protections were removed, a litany of laws was passed that to this day disenfranchise Black and Brown voters.
It has been honorable that we have observed the Shelby v Holder decision in a ceremonial way to bring awareness to the need to pass a voting rights law. However, as we see attacks on the right to vote become more blatant with profound consequences when individuals do not have the interest of the
people at hand, the time has come to escalate the efforts to pass a voting rights act. John Lewis created the blueprint authoring the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The act was introduced in the house by Terri Sewell in 2021, it passed in the house but not the senate.
We must honor life accomplishments of Congressman Lewis, atone for his bloody beating on the Edmund Pettus bridge and thus preserve his legacy as a fighter for justice.
We are therefore holding a multi-day Summit for the 10th anniversary of Shelby v Holder as a national event bringing worldwide attention to the necessity of passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act or similar legislation. It is time to do something different to get a different result.
We must bring June 25th from a day of commemoration to a dispensation of legislative action where once again, as on the bridge in Selma, the entire world will watch the fruition of the much-needed John R. Lewis voting rights act passage.
We intend to bring the political, celebrity, scholarly, and community acitvists together with our civil rights organizations to peacefully convene in Shelby County on June 23rd - 25th, 2023, to respond collectively to the urgency, repairing the breach and restoring the dignity and sensibility to our voting rights laws.