After you've cast your vote on election day, why not come down to the United States Supreme Court and support some Americans who long to vote, but can't for one uncontrollable reason-- they're not yet 18.
The National Youth Rights Association (NYRA), America's largest youth-led civil rights organization, is leading a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court on election day (this Tuesday, November 2nd) at starting at 8:30 A.M. Eastern Time.
Why the supreme Court? Well, it's more than just a voting protest. It's also a protest for free speech. On November 2nd, the Supreme Court will be hearing the oral arguments in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA case. On trial is the ability of the state to subject video games to censorship and legal age restrictions. NYRA joined the ACLU's brief in opposition to this blatant censorship.
So whether you are a free speech advocate or a youth rights advocate (or both), I encourage you to head down to the Supreme Court for the rally at 8:30am. Don't worry there will still be time to GOTV after the rally!
In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about the growing youth rights movement go to National Youth Rights Association web site. If you're particularly interested in learning about efforts to lower the voting age, and WHY the voting age should be lowered, please go to Voting Age Talking Points or Top 10 Reasons to Lower the Voting Age
I hope many of you will come down on November 2nd to work for freedom of speech and youth civil rights.
I have posted the press release on the rally below, if you want top learn more. (Don't worry, I got permission doing that.
National Youth Rights Association to Defend Teen Constitutional Rights in Supreme Court Rally
WASHINGTON – On the morning of Election Day, November 2, the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) will gather near the front of the Supreme Court to rally for free speech and youth voting rights. The rally will occur during the oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. EMA, a case concerning a yet-to-be-implemented 2004 California state law banning the sale of most video games to persons under 18 years of age.
In September, NYRA partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Coalition Against Censorship to file an amicus curiae brief opposing the California law. NYRA asserts that this law violates the First Amendment rights of minors by preventing their access to valuable and legitimate media. In preparing their argument, NYRA solicited personal testimonies on gaming websites and received over 100 online comments, several of which were featured in the final brief. This marks one of the first times in history anonymous online commentary has gone before the Supreme Court.
NYRA asserts that this case demonstrates the need for a lower voting age. "These justices didn't play video games as teenagers. The world they grew up in was a very different world than the one young people are living in today. To deny youth the vote is to deny us any means of protecting our own interests." said Usiel Phoenix, a Washington, D.C. resident and 17-year-old member of NYRA's Board of Directors.
Oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. EMA are being held at 10 am on November 2. At this time, dozens of NYRA members and local supporters from schools and universities will gather at the Supreme Court to rally for the right of young people to freely consume all forms of speech and to participate in a political system that otherwise threatens to curtail their constitutional rights.
"By rallying peacefully and professionally this Election Day, young people will prove to the Court and the nation that teenagers are entitled to the same political rights afforded to adults," Phoenix added.
The rally will last from 8:30 to 11:30 am on the steps of the Supreme Court at One First Street N.E., Washington, D.C. A press conference will be held at 10:05 am.
About NYRA: Founded in 1998, NYRA is the largest youth rights organization in the country. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the organization is committed to fighting for increased rights of young people. NYRA has over 10,000 members nationwide and its expertise on youth rights has been sought by CNN, PBS, Fox News, the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times and many other newspapers, and media outlets. ###