The Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court has made it harder for Americans to vote and easier for politicians to try to suppress the vote. In 2013, the five Republican-appointed justices voted to end a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, functionally giving states the green light to target communities of color for voter suppression. States took advantage of that ruling to institute voter ID laws, kick people off of voter registration lists, and shut down precincts to make it harder to vote, especially for people of color.
This year, their attacks on our voting rights have continued. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the five Republican-appointed justices ruled to make it harder for people to vote. Despite the fact that many Wisconsinites had not received the absentee ballots they had requested long before the election, these justices ruled that people could not submit their ballots after they arrived – forcing thousands of people to choose between staying safe during the pandemic and exercising their right to vote. In Alabama, they similarly blocked efforts to make it easier to vote absentee to help people stay safe. And in Florida, they intervened to let politicians institute a 21st Century poll tax — blocking formerly incarcerated people from voting just because they do not have enough money to pay fines.