44 years ago today the Voting Rights Act was passed, reversing decades of Jim Crow laws and institutionalized racism. Unfortunately, even with unprecedented levels of African-American voter turnout, one major obstacle to African-American voter participation still lingers: criminal disenfranchisement laws.
On Friday, Senators Feingold and Conyers introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2009, a bill designed to restore voting rights to Americans with past criminal convictions. Since then, groups ranging from former inmates to current police chiefs have stood behind the proposal.
Much has been made this past week about a brief dissenting opinion by Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the 2006 Second Circuit decision in Hayden v. Pataki, a case that challenged New York’s felony disenfranchisement law...
In This Newsletter: Democracy Restoration Act, Faith & Religious Leaders Join Campaign to Restore Voting Rights, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Allies, New Report: DeFacto Disenfranchisement, and Progress in the States.