Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Southern Legislatures
June 19, 1997
Aside from these five Justices on the court having blindly shut their
eyes to equality and fairness today, their decision leads us to begin
the next century with the certainty of bitter wars in southern
legislatures for the right of all people to be represented.
Washington, DC - Georgia's Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-4th)
responded to the United States Supreme Court's 5-4 decision affirming
Georgia's redistricting plan. At the heart of the case was the lower
court going beyond the Supreme Courtıs instructions of minimum
disruption in the landmark civil rights case of Johnson v. Miller.
When the lower court reconsidered the newly declared unconstitutional
Eleventh District, the court struck down the Second District as well
and redrew most of Georgia's congressional districts.
"Like it or not, majority-minority districts work, and because they
work so well as a remedy for past exclusion they were attacked. For
the first time Georgia voters in these districts had the opportunity
to elect their candidates of choice. But now with the disastrous
decision of Johnson v. Miller and todayıs decision, the opportunity
for true representation has been snatched away from them. Until we
adopt proportional voting systems these same voters will not have the
opportunity to elect a representative of choice and in my opinion
enjoy what others have always had. They will be left to choose
between two alternatives, given to them, neither of whom is concerned
about their views or well-being.
As a self-described child of the '60s Congresswoman McKinney said,
though the Justices have put the death nail into the Voting Rights
Act, I will introduce the Voters Choice Act as an alternative weapon
to arm all people of conscious who seek a truly representative
government where everyone has a seat at the table. This set back for
the civil rights community is an opportunity for all of us to come
together to consider new tools to go into the next century. To this
end I want the neo-confederates everywhere and the proponents of
California's Proposition 209 to know that the history train is still
on her tracks to carry all of us to Dr. Kingıs America.
Congresswoman McKinney introduced the Voters' Choice Act in the last
Congress. The Voters Choice act allows states to use multi-member
districts when using a form of proportional voting. Not only will this
act allow communities and smaller parties to maximize their voting
strength it will also make the power grab of politicians choosing
voters during reapportionment more difficult.