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Sammi Goldsmith

This week, we lament the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Partly drafted in the Religious Action Center’s library, the VRA was conceived of to ensure state and local governments could not pass laws that would deny American citizens the equal right to vote based on race. It is one of the most consequential pieces of federal legislation in American history. However, since the Court came down with their split 5-4 ruling in 2013, millions of voters have been subject to discrimination and disenfranchisement....

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Three teens holding signs in support of criminal justice reform

These remarks have been lightly adapted from those presented at the lobby prep session of the 2019 Consultation on Conscience on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Deuteronomy commands, “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof, justice, justice you shall pursue.” As Jews, we are told to seek justice, but also to ensure that the means we use to reach justice are just in themselves. A criminal justice system that punishes excessively and discriminatorily violates this instruction. Regrettably, the United States criminal justice system does both. 

What is this issue about?

Over the past...

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