Voting Rights Plaintiffs Present Arguments In Federal Lawsuit

Voting rights case and proposed constitutional amendment will be subject of presentation at Stetson Law School.

Yesterday, plaintiffs in Segovia v. Chicago Board of Election Commissioners filed a motion for summary judgment and opposition to the federal government’s motion to dismiss, arguing that Congress and the States cannot pick and choose when protecting the right to vote for Americans who move outside the 50 states.  On Friday, We the People Project’s President Neil Weare will be discussing the case and plans for a new constitutional amendment to provide full enjoyment of the right to vote for the nearly 5 million Americans living in U.S. territories and the District of Columbia at a legal symposium hosted by Stetson University School of Law School.

“We believe that where you live should not impact your right to vote for President or have voting representation in Congress.  This case is part of a broader efforts to achieve voting rights for all U.S. citizens, wherever they live, and yesterday’s filing brings us one step closer towards that goal,” said Neil Weare, President and Founder of We the People Project, a non-profit that advocates for equal rights and representation in U.S. territories. “Action in court is not enough though, and we look forward to talking more about our plans for a constitutional amendment to guarantee full enjoyment of the right to vote to all residents of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.”

“The Constitution does not permit Congress or the states to selectively protect the right to vote for Americans living overseas - that's a clear violation of equal protection,” said Geoffrey Wyatt, an attorney at Skadden Arps LLP who along with his colleagues and other local attorneys are providing pro bono representation to the Segovia plaintiffs.

On Friday morning, Attorney Weare will be discussing the lawsuit, along with broader efforts to pursue a constitutional amendment to secure voting rights for all residents of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, at a symposium hosted by Stetson University School of Law in Gulfport, Florida.  More information about the symposium is available here, and the event will be livestreamed here.

“I thank Stetson Law School and the U.S. Virgin Island Bar Association for organizing this important symposium and I look forward to laying out a proposal for a constitutional amendment to secure voting rights to the nearly 5 million U.S. citizens living in U.S. territories and the District of Columbia,” Attorney Weare said.

Yesterday’s filings and more information about the case are available here.  The complaint in the case was filed last November in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  State defendants filed answers to the complaint earlier this year.  Judge Joan Gottschall is assigned to hear the case. 

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