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A few highlights of our month.

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League of Women Voters
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Supreme Court hears case on DACA

On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a trio of cases suing the presidential administration over its decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  

The loss of DACA protections would have devastating effect on the 700,000 recipients and their families, and the millions more relying on the government’s promise to create a pathway to citizenship. 

If the Court rules in favor of DACA recipients, those recipients and their families will feel secure for the first time in three or more years. And the rest of the country can focus our efforts on ensuring Congress creates pathway to citizenship for people who have long called this country home.

The League has joined 44 other civic-minded organizations in filing an amicus brief in this case. A decision is expected in summer 2020.

We've been waiting nearly 100 years for equality

While next year is the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, the passage of a constitutional amendment—known as the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—that enshrines equality for all regardless of sex or gender, has faced obstacles since 1923.

The possibility of its passage has been renewed by the outcome of the Virginia Legislature elections in 2019, with many legislators declaring their intent to ratify the ERA. Virginia’s ratification would make it the 38th and final state needed for this constitutional amendment to become a reality. 

However, unlike many other of our other constitutional amendments, the ERA had a deadline for ratification of 1979 (and then extended by Congress to 1982). But hope is not lost—this month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee ruled 21-11 to remove the ratification deadline and now the resolution moves to the House floor for a vote.

It’s been almost 100 years we have been waiting and working for this amendment, let’s not wait 100 more. By passing the ERA, we can firmly and resolutely declare that we believe in equality for all.

People Powered Fair Maps move in the states

Leagues across the country are working state-by-state to close the door on federal challenges to partisan gerrymandering—the practice of drawing districts with an overwhelming voter registration advantage to minimize competitive elections.

In late October, LWV of Oklahoma filed an initiative petition to end gerrymandering in the state, saying that Oklahomans deserve to have fair and equal representation across the state, and partisan gerrymandering is keeping that from happening. This initiative will create more competitive elections, which will force politicians to be responsive to the needs of average citizens and start fixing many of the state’s real problems.

In early November, LWV of Oregon filed three redistricting petitions that would create a nonpartisan citizens panel to handle redistricting for congressional and legislative seats in Oregon. “The Legislature has a conflict of interest in the process,” said the president of LWV of Oregon, “and they would be tempted to bias the results to favor one party or another.”

Also this month, LWV of Nevada filed a constitutional amendment with the Nevada secretary of state that, if approved by voters in 2020 and again in 2022, would create a bipartisan independent redistricting commission. Moving the power of redistricting to a bipartisan board and out of the hands of the Legislature would create a more stable system, avoid potential future litigation over gerrymandering, and give more people a reason to cast a ballot.

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League of Women Voters

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