A new lawsuit says, Georgia is fencing out black voters with newly-created white-majority cities in Atlanta's suburbs.
Georgia’s black legislative caucus says, several cities created in the last six years including John's Creek and Sandy Springs violate the federal Voting Rights Act and it has sued the governor to get them dissolved.
The lawsuit says, the towns create segregated government and dilute black voting power.
Long-time civil rights activist Dr. Joseph Lowery from Atlanta is one of the plaintiffs.
“There are enough questions remaining that need to be clarified to make sure we’re not seeing a lot of nearly all white cities which doesn’t reflect the kind of scenery and environment that the Voting Rights Act seeks in this country,” says Lowery.
The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Republican Wendell Willard lives in Sandy Springs and is its attorney. He says the city was created to serve the needs of the people. They voted for its incorporation, he says, and per the Voting Rights Act requirement, they already got federal approval.
“And we also had the clearance of the Justice Department through Title Five as a means of being sure there was not in fact something occurring here which was a means of diluting the vote of minorities,” says Willard.
Because of its discriminatory past, Georgia must get pre-clearance from the DOJ on voting issues.
Governor Deal declined comment as he is the primary defendant in the lawsuit.