The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Milligan v. Merrill next Tuesday as it considers whether Alabama must create a second majority-minority Congressional district.
Just across the street, leaders of multiple Alabama grassroots organizations will be making their voices heard about why they believe a ruling creating that second district is so important.
“Democracy Day comprises a series of activities surrounding the Milligan vs. Merrill oral arguments on October 4th in Washington, DC, and through the Spring of 2023 as the Court finalizes its opinion,” said Khadidah Stone, Chief Field and Campaign Strategist at Alabama Forward and a plaintiff in the Milligan case. “This grassroots movement invites partners, allies, pro-democracy movers, and shakers to descend on the capital to join in a collective effort to demand the need for fair maps and equitable representation. Similar to our ancestors in 1877 and 1965, we are facing a tipping point in our nation’s history. Democracy, Freedom, and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement are on the line. We hope that individuals will join us to fight for our democracy on October 4th.”
In the Milligan case, the plaintiffs argue that under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama’s Congressional map should feature two majority-minority districts. The lawsuit was brought before a panel of three federal judges that agreed with the plaintiffs. The federal court ordered the state of Alabama to draw new maps, but instead, the state appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The court agreed to hear oral arguments on Oct. 4, with a decision announced in 2023.
Democracy Day will feature speakers including Evan Milligan, executive director of Alabama Forward and lead plaintiff in the Milligan v. Merrill case; Kelyse Adams, DC Vote & Long Live GoGo; Alexis Anderson-Reed, State Voices; Margaret Huang, SPLC; Scott Douglas, Greater Birmingham Ministries, plaintiff organization; and Bernard Simelton, Alabama NAACP, plaintiff organization. Other speakers are currently being added to the day’s line-up.Organizers will gather at the U.S. Capitol Ground Demo Area 9, which is located directly across 1st Street NE from the U.S. Supreme Court Building. Organizers are invited to bring their signs and friends to the event. To register for Democracy Day and a full schedule of the week’s events, visit tinyurl.com/poldemocracyday1