Skip to Content

Ahead of Shelby v. Holder Anniversary, Rev. William J. Barber II and DC-Area Clergy Held a Rally to Denounce Voter Suppression


June 23, 2017 


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Ahead of Shelby v. Holder Anniversary, Rev. William J. Barber II and DC-Area Clergy Held a Rally to Denounce Voter Suppression

 Washington, D.C. – On Friday, June 23rd, at 10 a.m. just days before the 4-year anniversary of Shelby v. Holder — the Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act — Rev. Dr. William J Barber II, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, and hundreds of Washington-area faith leaders gathered at the Supreme Court to urge Congress and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to preserve voting rights for all Americans and to rescind his call for federal prosecutors to aggressively prosecute “the most serious, readily provable offense” in all trials. To watch a full video of the event, click here. For photos, click here.

In the biblical story of Jericho, people of faith marched seven times around the city to bring the walls crashing down. Immediately following the rally, clergy marched around the Supreme Court.

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life (Washington, DC):

“Today our nation’s path to the promised land is blocked by a Jericho wall surrounding the voting booths in minority communities. This wall of disenfranchisement is built on the foundations of the court’s Shelby v. Holder ruling four years ago this week, which gutted the Voting Rights Act and brings us here today. These systemic attacks diminish the fundamental rights and freedoms demanded by our scripture and guaranteed by our constitution. We march here today as people of faith to show the Supreme Court and the Trump administration that we will not rest until the walls of injustice and oppression come tumbling down.” 

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President and Senior Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach; Architect of the “Moral Mondays”Movement; Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church (Raleigh, North Carolina):

“Long before Russia ever hacked the system and interfered, racism and voter suppression did it. Since June 25th, 2013 we have had hundreds of voter suppression laws. According to the Brennan Center, 99 just this year since May. And it’s not just photo ID, it’s about strict forms of photo ID based on the fraudulent lie of voter fraud. The kind of photo ID that makes it easier to get a gun than it is to vote. It is not just about photo ID, it is about rolling back same-day registration and early voting and not allowing 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register and not allowing out of precinct voters, knowing a that many times precincts in black and brown and poor white communities are moved.”

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action (Washington, DC) :

“Fifty-three years ago this week — hundreds of brave young people from all walks of American life took incredible risks as they launched a project that would make a profound impact on this society.  It came to be know as Freedom Summer.  And as it began, one African American Christian and two White Jewish young men were murdered by the KKK. Their names were James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner. Society recoiled with outrage at their deaths, and elected leaders passed the Voting Rights Act, which was a key step in ending Jim Crow segregation.  But now that law is under attack.  And the systems of racism and white supremacy persist — in our education system, in our economic system, and in our policing and criminal justice system.”


Back to top