EDITORIAL NOTE: This blog post was originally published on the Huffington Post.
Ninety-three years ago this week, Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters to advocate for women's suffrage. A short time later, in August of 1920, following decades of advocacy, Chapman Catt, League members, and women across the country saw their dream realized with the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. "The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America," remarked Chapman Catt upon its passage, "the guarantee of your liberty... Understand what it means and what it can do for your country."
Yet today, 93 years after the League was founded to help democratize the right to vote, the voting rights of all Americans - or the "emblem of our equality"- are at deep risk. Later this month, the Supreme Court will review Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a case that questions the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. Since our founding 93 years ago, the League of Women Voters has fought for voting rights and to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens. The VRA, with Section 5 in particular, is indispensable to that work. Should the Court rule against the VRA, millions of Americans could face disenfranchisement. That's why we've joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in filing an amicus brief in support of the VRA and Section 5. We firmly believe that for the Supreme Court to do anything but uphold Section 5 would be to turn back 50 years of progress by blocking effective enforcement of voting rights for all.
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