A Conversation with Anne Applebaum and Katie Couric: The State of American Democracy

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Thursday, April 25, 2024, 12:00 pm EDT

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BigTentUSA

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The Supreme Court’s term starts this week. On Tuesday the Court will hear Merrill v Milligan, where the Court is being asked to resolve whether the state of Alabama’s 2021 redistricting plan violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Many fear that Merrill may be the final nail in the coffin the of the Voting Rights Act, which was largely hobbled in 2013 by Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion in Shelby v. Holder. Moore v. Harper, which will consider the independent state legislature theory is not yet scheduled for argument. Merrill and Moore alone could have a dramatic and deleterious effect on democracy as we know it.  Our big hope to preserve democracy lies in elected officials in the state and federal level.

The big takeaway from David Pepper’s recent visit to BigTent is that we need to fight for democracy like never before. He explained the enormous significance to democracy of state legislatures, which, among other things, have the power to dictate who draws district lines. Antidemocratic forces that have seized state legislatures have created districts so gerrymandered that the outcome can be predicted prior to voting. However, there are some swing districts in state legislatures still at play. Pepper urged BigTent and other supporters of democracy to put their resources behind voting for the pro democracy candidates in those races. 

We need to make it a point to spread our resources beyond federal races to state races, where the stakes have never been higher and where donations go further than they do in federal races. Groups like The States Project have identified specific races in play. BigTent has been busy working on a lot of voter-centered actions and urges you to join in as well. Read through and sign up for actions listed in this newsletter.