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Vermont Racial Justice Alliance Presents: Equal Protection Constitutional Amendment

Vermont Racial Justice Alliance - Equal Protection: A Constitutional Amendment

July 24 @ 6:00 pm 7:30 pm

The House of the Representatives of the Vermont General Assembly passed the Equal Protection constitutional amendment overwhelmingly with a vote of 140 to 4. The constitutional amendment would incorporate an Equal Protection Article into the Vermont constitution for the first time in 247 years! 

Why is this important?  The “color-blind” Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) interpretation currently being applied to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is actively reversing our civil rights and obstructing attempts to redress historical and ongoing harm caused by policy. Unfortunately over the past several decades the SCOTUS has drifted away from the original intent of the Equal Protection Clause (to protect the formerly enslaved).  This has also severely limited our ability to address disparities created by the legacy of slavery – systemic racism. There are ongoing unprecedented reversals and/or significant alterations of civil rights protections previously safeguarded by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

For the first time in state history, we have initiated a Vermont equal protection constitutional amendment.  Though we know that it will be decided in the courts, this constitutional amendment could lay the groundwork in creating a state legal approach to equal protection which  assists Vermont in its ability to create survivable policies that correct disparate outcomes caused by systemic racism and other forms of oppression. This constitutional amendment could assist Vermont in providing broader civil rights protections in the face of national threats.  These protections could even be expanded to some who are currently less protected and prevent harmful classification-based algorithms.  

We will continue to train and organize around equal protection over the Summer and into the fall.  Next Biennium the constitutional amendment is required to pass the Senate and House again before such time as it heads to the ballot. Please attend the training and organizing sessions as you see them announced.  Equal Protection is the cornerstone of civil rights and justice in the United States. How Vermont responds to equal protection will make the difference in the lives of our children and our children’s children. 

We’ll meet at the Richard Kemp Center on July 24th at 6:00 PM for a planning and organizing meeting. This meeting will be hybrid. Here is the link:

372 N Winooski Ave
Burlington, Vermont 05401 United States
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