The Andrew Goodman Foundation Statement on U.S. District Court Judge Trauger’s Decision to Grant a Preliminary Injunction Against Tennessee’s Voter Suppression Law Set to Take Effect on October 1st

We commend U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger on the just decision to halt the implementation of this deceptive and unconstitutional law. It is a blatant attempt to use the law to threaten, intimidate, and bully organizations that are engaged in registering voters with the ultimate goal of suppressing the votes of students and communities of color. 

As we state in our lawsuit, this law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, including citizens’ free speech, free association, civil and due process rights, and the right to vote. It places arbitrary, vague, and excessive burdens on organizations and individuals that are engaged in voter registration. Most alarming, organizations and individuals that register voters could face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per county and up to a year in prison for each offense for errors or failing to properly comply with the law’s vague requirements. 

Voting is a fundamental right that is foundational to our democracy and voter registration is a democratic freedom that has always played a crucial role in ensuring that all Americans have access to this constitutional right. The United States has one of the lowest voting rates among all of the developed countries, so instead of actively working to restrict the vote, our elected leaders should be working to make it more accessible and fair for all Americans. We applaud Judge Trauger’s decision to protect the rights of Tennesseans and all Americans by preventing this anti-democratic law from taking effect while it is challenged in court.

The ruling can be read here.