Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

Congresswoman Terri Sewell Applauds the Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling in Voting Rights Case

Apr 5, 2016
Press Release
Sewell says Supreme Court decision makes it clear that all people matter and all people should be counted.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the Evenwel v. Abbott case upholding state and locality power to continue to draw its legislative districts based on total population:

“The Supreme Court’s refusal to change the way state and municipal districts are drawn and upholding representation based on total population truly affirmed our nation's brand as a democratic society. The Justices of the Supreme Court delivered a strong singular statement that being ineligible to vote doesn’t make one invisible.

“The decision stops the efforts of those who seek to eliminate certain vulnerable groups from the voter count, when apportioning state legislative districts. By counting children, the mentally disabled, prisoners, and non-citizens as "ineligible voters," we deny them the equal protection under the law. Fundamental to our democracy is that all men and women are vested with certain inalienable rights and voting is essential to those founding principles. Permanent residents have rights, the disabled should be protected, immigrants and the incarcerated should be included.   

“I applaud the Supreme Court's ruling and the fact that it was a unanimous decision makes a clear statement about the importance of inclusion in our democracy. The Supreme Court decision makes it clear that all people matter and all people should be counted. We are always more powerful united than divided and we all must continue to support equal representation and full protection of voting rights for all Americans.”

About the Evenwel v. Abbot Case

The Evenwel v. Abbott case was brought by two Texas voters, Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger, who challenged Texas Senate districts apportionment. It was argued that counting ineligible voters such as children, the mentally disabled, prisoners, and non-citizens violated the “one person one vote” principle of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. 

 The Supreme Court ruled that the “one-person, one-vote” principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population, when apportioning state legislative districts.