NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - One of the U.S. Supreme Court's most consequential and controversial cases on racial discrimination and voting rights is playing out over drinks on stage at Project Y's fourth annual Women in Theater Festival.
"Argument Sessions: Disenfranchised" is the latest of several Supreme Court sessions Ilana Becker, the creator and director, has dramatized after first reading an argument transcript six years ago.
In Shelby County v. Holder, the nine justices sharply divided over a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, which battled racism at the polls by making southern states get the U.S. Justice Department's clearance before making any changes to their election procedures.
The justices, though, don't let cameras see them in action, like when Chief Justice John Roberts threw this "gotcha" question at the DOJ's lawyer: "Do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African American voter turnout? So the play turned that line into an audience participation game called, "Name that racist state."
In the end, Roberts led the five conservatives in striking down the preclearance provision.
Will Dagger plays Chief Justice Roberts and Rebecca Kelly-Golfman plays Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Becker hopes to raise awareness of this court case's impact by taking "Argument Sessions" to the five boroughs and across the country.
Directed by Ilana Becker